Janko Ž. Nikolich, MD, PhD

Department Head and Professor, Immunobiology
Director, Aegis Consortium for Pandemic-Free Future
Co-Director, Arizona Center on Aging
Professor, Medicine
Professor, Nutritional Sciences
Professor, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Genetics-GIDP
Professor, Neuroscience-GIDP

Dr. Nikolich is internationally recognized as a leading immunologist and gerontologist. He received his M.D., MSc and Ph.D. in Immunology from Belgrade University School of Medicine. From 1987 to 1990, he worked as a Research Associate at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in the laboratory of Dr. Michael J. Bevan, FRS, NAS, HHMI. In 1990, he joined the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York as the Head of both the Flow Cytometry Core Facility and the Laboratory of T Cell Development, first as Assistant and then Associate Member. He served as Assistant Professor (1990-1996) and Associate Professor (1996-2001) at both the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences and the Division of Molecular Medicine in Cornell University School of Medicine. He was a recipient of the Pew Biomedical Scholar Award and the Louise and Allston Boyer Young Scientist Award.  In 2001, Dr. Nikolich assumed the position of Senior Scientist at the Oregon Health & Science University at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, along with joint appointments as a tenured Professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and a Senior Scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center.  In 2008, Dr. Nikolich moved to the University of Arizona to lead the Department of Immunobiology and the Arizona Center on Aging.  His long-term interests include basic mechanisms of T-cell function, immunity to infection in older adults, vaccines and biomarkers of declining immunity in the elderly, immune rejuvenation, immune monitoring in chronic conditions of aging and the impact of inflammation and nutritional intervention in aging, immunity and metabolic disorders.  He has published over 130 scientific papers and reviews describing his work.

  • MS: Belgrade University School of Medicine, Serbia
  • PhD: Belgrade University School of Medicine, Serbia
  • MD: Belgrade University School of Medicine, Serbia
  • Post-doctoral Fellow: Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation

Recent Publications


Horwitz, L. I., T. Thaweethai, S. B. Brosnahan, M. S. Cicek, M. L. Fitzgerald, J. D. Goldman, R. Hess, S. L. Hodder, V. L. Jacoby, M. R. Jordan, et al., "Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) adult study protocol: Rationale, objectives, and design.", PLoS One, vol. 18, issue 6, pp. e0286297, 2023. PMCID: PMC10289397  PMID: 37352211
Thaweethai, T., S. E. Jolley, E. W. Karlson, E. B. Levitan, B. Levy, G. A. McComsey, L. McCorkell, G. N. Nadkarni, S. Parthasarathy, U. Singh, et al., "Development of a Definition of Postacute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection.", JAMA, vol. 329, issue 22, pp. 1934-1946, 2023 Jun 13. PMCID: PMC10214179  PMID: 37278994
Lafleur, B. J., L. White, M. D. Dake, J. Z. Nikolich, R. Sprissler, and D. Bhattacharya, "No Evidence That Analgesic Use after COVID-19 Vaccination Negatively Impacts Antibody Responses.", Immunohorizons, vol. 7, issue 12, pp. 834-841, 2023 Dec 01. PMID: 38085168
Quirk, G. E., M. V. Schoenle, K. L. Peyton, J. L. Uhrlaub, B. Lau, J. L. Burgess, K. Ellingson, S. Beitel, J. Romine, K. Lutrick, et al., "Determinants of B cell responses to drifted epitopes in post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infections.", medRxiv, 2023 Sep 14. PMCID: PMC10516057  PMID: 37745498
Jergović, M., M. Watanabe, R. Bhat, C. P. Coplen, S. A. Sonar, R. Wong, Y. Castaneda, L. Davidson, M. Kala, R. C. Wilson, et al., "T-cell cellular stress and reticulocyte signatures, but not loss of naïve T lymphocytes, characterize severe COVID-19 in older adults.", Geroscience, vol. 45, issue 3, pp. 1713-1728, 2023 Jun. PMCID: PMC9838276  PMID: 36633825
Goodrum, F., A. C. Lowen, S. Lakdawala, J. Alwine, A. Casadevall, M. J. Imperiale, W. Atwood, D. Avgousti, J. Baines, B. Banfield, et al., "Virology under the Microscope-a Call for Rational Discourse.", mSphere, vol. 8, issue 2, pp. e0003423, 2023 Apr 20. PMCID: PMC10117089  PMID: 36700653


Maruyama, J., R. A. Reyna, M. Kishimoto-Urata, S. Urata, J. T. Manning, N. Harsell, R. Cook, C. Huang, J. Nikolich-Zugich, T. Makishima, et al., "CD4 T-cell depletion prevents Lassa fever associated hearing loss in the mouse model.", PLoS Pathog, vol. 18, issue 5, pp. e1010557, 2022 May. PMCID: PMC9166448  PMID: 35605008
Walling, M., Scientists are looking at reactivation of latent viruses, and other existing post-infection syndromes, for answers about long-haul COVID-19.: Arizona Republic, 2022.
Walling, M., Arizona scientists have mapped 100,000 coronavirus genomes, but say the work isn't done: Arizona Republic, 2022.
Davis-Young, K., 'It’s terrifying': Arizona's COVID-19 long-haulers face exhaustion and uncertainty, 2022.