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Grace M. Aldrovandi, MD


Grace M. Aldrovandi, MD CM, is a physician-scientist and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and a Professor of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Aldrovandi is a board-certified pediatric infectious diseases specialist with over 20 years experience in caring for both general pediatric infectious diseases as well as HIV infected children and their families. Dr. Aldrovandi’s research interests include pediatric HIV, the effects of breast milk on child health and infections in immunocompromised children. She has published more than 100 peer review publications in such journals as Nature, Journal of Virology, and the New England Journal of Medicine and multiple book chapters. She has been a member of multiple National Institutes of Health study sections and lectured throughout the world. She also was invited by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to serve as a member of the AIDS Immunology and Pathogenesis Study Section of the Center for Scientific Review.

As a researcher, Dr. Aldrovandi has chaired national and international studies on HIV pathogenesis within the International Maternal, Pediatric and Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network (IMPAACT) and the Adolescent Trials Network (ATN). She was elected Chair of the IMPAACT Laboratory Committee, where she provides scientific leadership and quality assurance/quality control programs for all the laboratories (Virology, Immunology, Pharmacology and Genetics). Dr. Aldrovandi was recently selected to Chair the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) Laboratory Center in addition where she performs similar duties. She is the former Chair of the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group (PACTG) Virology Committee and a member of the phenotypic and genotypic resistance working groups as well as the dried blood spot swat team. She is also a member of the Genotypic Advisory Committee of the NIAID VQA to establish a DAIDS quality assurance program for genotypic analysis of drug resistance mutations. She has considerable scientific expertise in pediatric HIV, basic HIV virology, HIV clinical assays and HIV drug resistance. Dr. Aldrovandi has been awarded the prestigious Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award for her work on breast milk transmission of HIV-1.

More recently, Dr. Aldrovandi has investigated the role of the microbiome in normal infant development, how the microbiome is perturbed by HIV-1, and how the microbiome affects HIV-1 susceptibility at mucosal sites. Her initial interest in the microbiome developed from her studies of breast milk and breast milk transmission of HIV-1. Mother’s actively excrete bacteria and special proteins, human milk oligosaccharides, thought to support the commensal bacterial, to their infants via breast milk. Certain immune cells in the infant gut do not develop until the cells receive signals from the commensal bacteria. It is this complex interplay between mother, infant and microbe that Dr. Aldrovandi is trying to understand through many of her microbiome studies. Additionally, her investigations have expanded to improve the understanding of the microbiome in HIV susceptibility and its role in human disease and treatment response.

Dr. Aldrovandi received two bachelor’s degrees and her medical degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She completed an internship and residency at McGill, as well as a research fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California, Los Angeles.


English, Spanish, Italian


Medical Board Certification

Pediatric Infectious Diseases, American Board of Pediatrics, 1994


Pediatrics/Infectious Diseases, UCLA School of Medicine, 1994
Infectious Disease, Harbor - UCLA Medical Center, 1992


Pediatrics, McGill University Health Center, 1989


Pediatrics, McGill University Health Center, 1986


MD, McGill University Faculty of Medicine, 1985


  • Top Doctors, Los Angeles Magazine, 2021
  • Silver Award, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia 2015
  • Elected Member, American Pediatric Society 2012
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Hospital Affiliations



  • Pediatric HIV
  • Mother-to-child transmission of HIV
  • Mucosal transmission of HIV
  • HIV comorbidities
  • Infant immune development
  • General pediatric infectious diseases


Link to complete list of publications >

Highlighted publications:

In microbiome and next-generation sequencing studies.

  1. Bender J*, Li F, Martelly S, Byrt E, Rouzier V, Pannaraj P*, Adisetiyo H, Santiskulvong C, Wang S, Autran C, Bode L, Fitzgerald D, Kuhn L, Aldrovandi GM. Maternal HIV infection influences the microbiome of HIV-infected infants Science Trans Medicine 2016 8(349)349ra100. PMID 2746478. PMCID PMC5301310
  2. Pannaraj P*, Li P, Cerini C*, Bender J*, Bittinger K, Bailey A, Rollie A, Adisetiyo H, Bushman F, Sleasman J, Aldrovandi GM The role of breastmilk bacteria in the establishment and development of the infant microbiome JAMA Pediatrics 2017 Jul 1;17(7):647-654. PMID:28492938. PMCID PMC5710346
  3. Greninger AL, Naccache SN, Messacar K, Clayton A, Yu G, Somasekar S, Federman S, Stryke D, Anderson C, Yagi S, Messenger S, Wadford D, Xia D, Watt JP, Van Haren K, Dominguez SR, Glaser C, Aldrovandi G, Chiu CY A novel outbreak enterovirus D68 strain associated with acute flaccid myelitis cases in the USA (2012-14): a retrospective cohort study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2015 Jun;15(6):671-82.
  4. Van Haren K, Ayscue P, Waubant E, Anna Clayton, Sheriff H, Yagi S, Glenn-Finer R, Padilla T, Strober JB, Aldrovandi G, Wadford DA, Chiu CY, Xia D, Harriman K, Watt JP, Glaser CA. Acute flaccid myelitis of unknown etiology in California, 2012–2015 JAMA 2015 Dec 22-29;314(24):2663-71 PMID 26720027

In metabolic and morphologic complications of HIV infection and its therapies.

  1. Aldrovandi GM, Lindsay J, Jacobson D, Zadzilka A, Sheeran E, Moye J,Bornum P, Meyer W, Hardin D, Mulligan K for the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group P1045 team. Morphologic and Metabolic Abnormalities in Vertically HIV-infected Children and Youth: Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group P1045 team. AIDS 23(6):661-672, 2009. PMCID PMC2680185
  2. Mulligan K, Harris RD, Monte D, Stoeszek S, Emmanuel D, Hardin DS, Kapogiannis WG, Worrell C, Meyer WA, Sleasman JA, Wison CM, Aldrovandi GM. Obesity And Dyslipidemia In Behaviorally HIV-Infected Young Women: Adolescent Trials Network (ATN) Study 021 Clinical Infectious Diseases 2010 Jan 1;50(1):106-14. PMCID PMC2939739
  3. Jacobson DL, Lindsey J, Gordon C, Heckman B, Zadzilka A, Sheeran E, Moye J, Borum P, Hardin D, Mulligan K. Aldrovandi G for the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group P1045 team. Total body and spine bone mineral density across Tanner stages in vertically HIV-infected compared to uninfected children and youth in the PACTG 1045 study AIDS 2010; 24(5):687-696. PMCID PMC3154736
  4. Mulligan K, Harris RD, Emmanuel D, Fielding RA, Kapogiannis WG, Worrell C, Meyer WA, Sleasman JA, Wison CM, Aldrovandi GM. Low Bone Mass in Behaviorally HIV-infected Young Men on Antiretroviral Therapy: Adolescent Trials Network (ATN) Study 021b. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2012 55(3):461-8. PMCID PMC3491777

In clinical and virologic aspects of lactation biology among HIV infected women.

  1. Kuhn L, Aldrovandi GM, Sinkala M, Kankasa C, Semrau K*, Kasonde P, Scott N, Vwalika C, Walter J, Thea DM, Effects of early, abrupt weaning on HIV-free survival of children in Zambia. New Eng J Med 359:130-141, 2008. PMCID PMC 2577610
  2. Kuhn L, Kim HY*, Thea DM, Sinkala M, Mwiya M, Kankasa C, Walter J, D Decker and Aldrovandi, GM. HIV-1 concentrations in breast milk before and after weaning Science Translational Medicine. 2013; April17;5(181):113-125. PMID 23596203. PMCID PMC4557798
  3. Heath L*, Conway S*, Jones L, Semrau K*, Nakamura K*, Walter J*, Decker, WD, Hong J*, Chen T, Heil M*, Sinkala M, Kankasa C, Thea DT, Kuhn L, Mullins JI. Aldrovandi GM. Restriction of HIV-1 genotypes in breast milk does not account for the population transmission genetic bottleneck that occurs following transmission PLoS One. 2010 Apr 20;5(4):e10213. PMID 20422033. PMCID PMC2857876
  4. Kuhn L, Sinkala M, Semrau K*, Kankasa C, Kasonde P, Mwiya M, Hu CC, Thea DM, Aldrovandi GM Elevations in mortality due to weaning persist into the second year of life among uninfected children born to HIV-infected mother. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2010 Feb1;50(3):437-444. PMID 20047479. PMCID PMC 2805776

In immunologic correlates of HIV transmission and infant health.

  1. Sabbaj S*, Ghosh M* Edwards B*, W Decker, Leath A, Goepfert PA, Aldrovandi GM. Breast Milk Derived Antigen-Specific CD8+ T Cells: An Extralymphoid Effector Memory Cell Population in Humans. J Immunol 174: 2951-2956, 2005. PMID 15728507
  2. Walter J*, Ghosh M, Kuhn L, Kankasa C, Semrau K*, Sinkala M, Thea DM, and Aldrovandi GM. High concentration of interleukin-15 and low concentration of CCL5 (RANTES) in breast milk are associated with a protection against postnatal HIV transmission J of Infectious Diseases 2009;200:1498-1502. PMID 19835475. PMCID PMC2811259

In the News

The Importance of Infants’ Exposure to Micro-Organisms - New York Times
How Do Infant Immune Systems Learn to Tolerate Gut Bacteria? - thescientist.com

Note: News website links may expire without notice.


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  • Top Doctors, Los Angeles Magazine, 2021
  • Silver Award, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia 2015
  • Elected Member, American Pediatric Society 2012
  • Excellence Award, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles 2005
  • Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award, 2004
  • Pediatric AIDS Scholar Award Renewal, 1995
  • University of California Center for AIDS Research, Basic Science Research Award, 1995
  • Pediatric AIDS Scholar Award, 1993
  • AIDS Task Force Fellowship Award, University of California, 1990