Janko Nikolich-Žugich

Professor and Department Head

Dr. Nikolich-Žugich 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-Žugich 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-Žugich 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


Palmer, J., V. Pandit, M. Zeeshan, N. Kulvatunyou, M. Hamidi, K. Hanna, M. Fain, J. Nikolich-Zugich, E-R. Zakaria, and B. Joseph, "The Acute Inflammatory Response after Trauma is heightened by Frailty: A Prospective Evaluation of Inflammatory and Endocrine System Alterations in Frailty.", J Trauma Acute Care Surg, 2019 Feb 13. PMID: 30768559
Thompson, H. L., M. J. Smithey, J. L. Uhrlaub, I. Jeftić, M. Jergović, S. E. White, N. Currier, A. M. Lang, A. Okoye, B. Park, et al., "Lymph nodes as barriers to T-cell rejuvenation in aging mice and nonhuman primates.", Aging Cell, vol. 18, issue 1, pp. e12865, 2019 Feb. PMCID: PMC6351843  PMID: 30430748
Hamidi, M., M. Zeeshan, V. Leon-Risemberg, J. Nikolich-Zugich, K. Hanna, N. Kulvatunyou, A. Tawab Saljuqi, M. Fain, and B. Joseph, "Frailty as a prognostic factor for the critically ill older adult trauma patients.", Am J Surg, 2019 Feb 22. PMID: 30833015
Pollow, D. P., J. A. Uhlorn, M. A. Sylvester, M. Jill Romero-Aleshire, J. L. Uhrlaub, M. L. Lindsey, J. Nikolich-Zugich, and H. L. Brooks, "Menopause and FOXP3 Treg cell depletion eliminate female protection against T cell-mediated Angiotensin II hypertension.", Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 2019 May 17. PMID: 31099612
Jergović, M., J. L. Uhrlaub, N. A. Contreras, and J. Nikolich-Zugich, "Do cytomegalovirus-specific memory T cells interfere with new immune responses in lymphoid tissues?", Geroscience, vol. 41, issue 2, pp. 155-163, 2019 Apr. PMID: 31069636
Jergović, M., N. A. Contreras, and J. Nikolich-Zugich, "Impact of CMV upon immune aging: facts and fiction.", Med Microbiol Immunol, 2019 Apr 19. PMID: 31004198


Smithey, M. J., V. Venturi, M. P. Davenport, A. S. Buntzman, B. G. Vincent, J. A. Frelinger, and J. Nikolich-Zugich, "Lifelong CMV infection improves immune defense in old mice by broadening the mobilized TCR repertoire against third-party infection.", Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 115, issue 29, pp. E6817-E6825, 2018 07 17. PMCID: PMC6055168  PMID: 29967140
Nikolich-Zugich, J., "Author Correction: The twilight of immunity: emerging concepts in aging of the immune system.", Nat Immunol, vol. 19, issue 10, pp. 1146, 2018 Oct. PMID: 30177814
Davies, J. S., H. L. Thompson, V. Pulko, J. Padilla Torres, and J. Nikolich-Zugich, "Role of Cell-Intrinsic and Environmental Age-Related Changes in Altered Maintenance of Murine T Cells in Lymphoid Organs.", J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, vol. 73, issue 8, pp. 1018-1026, 2018 Jul 09. PMCID: PMC6037132  PMID: 28582491
Hayashi, T., H. E. Lynch, S. Geyer, K. Yoshida, K. Furudoi, K. Sasaki, Y. Morishita, H. Nagamura, M. Maki, Y. Hu, et al., "Impact of early life exposure to ionizing radiation on influenza vaccine response in an elderly Japanese cohort.", Vaccine, vol. 36, issue 45, pp. 6650-6659, 2018 10 29. PMID: 30274868