James D. Cherry, MD, MSC

James D. Cherry, MD, MSC

Pediatric Infectious Diseases


James D. Cherry, MD, MSc is a Distinguished Research Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Chery received his MD degree from the University of Vermont in 1957 and his MSc degree in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1983. He received his pediatric residency training at Boston City Hospital and Kings County Hospital and his infectious diseases fellowship training at the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory, Harvard Medical Service at Boston City Hospital. Following his infectious diseases fellowship training, Dr. Cherry established one of the first formal pediatric infectious disease fellowship programs in the world in 1963 at the University of Wisconsin. In 1973 Dr. Cherry started the first pediatric infectious training program at UCLA. During his 47 years tenure at UCLA, numerous trainees have gone on to be leaders in pediatric infectious diseases in the United States and other countries throughout the world.

In 1969-70, Dr. Cherry was a visiting worker at the Medical Research Council, Common Cold Research Unit and Clinical Research Centre, Salisbury, England. From 1989 to 1996, Dr. Cherry and associates carried out an extensive pertussis vaccine efficiency trail in Erlanger, Germany. In 2000-2001, he was a visiting scholar in the Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, England. In addition, Dr. Cherry was the director of a vaccine reaction study in Denmark at a participant in two USAID nutrition/immunology projects in Kenya.

Throughout his career, Dr. Cherry has received numerous national and international awards. Some of these include: The John and Mary B. Markle Scholar in Academic Medicine; Distinguished Physician Award of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society; The Stanley A. Plotkin Lectureship in Vaccinology of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society; The European Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases Bill Marshall Award; The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Infectious Diseases Award for Lifetime Contribution to Infectious Diseases Education; and The UCLA, Edward A. Dickson Emeritus Professorship Award.

Dr. Cherry has published 323 research papers, 109 editorials and commentaries and 303 book chapters. He is the senior editor of Feigin and Cherry's Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Disease, which is now in its 8th edition.

Dr. Cherry's laboratory experience involved virology, mycoplasmology, serology, and molecular microbiology. His main research over the last 57 years has been related to vaccines and vaccine preventable diseases (measles, rubella, influenza, smallpox, and pertussis). A major interest since 1976 relates to pertussis epidemiology and pertussis vaccines. Over the last 10 years, he and colleagues at the California Department of Public Health and California pediatric infectious diseases physicians have been studying severe pertussis in young infants. Another area of interest has been measles and measles vaccines. He and colleagues first described secondary measles vaccine failure in 1972 in Saint Louis and more recently in California. He presently is involved in measles related studies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Switzerland. Finally, he has been involved in Zika virus studies in Brazil.




Medical Board Certification

Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics, 1962


Boston City Hospital, 1962


Boston City Hospital, 1963
Kings County Hospital Center, 1960
Boston City Hospital, 1959


Boston City Hospital, 1958


London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, MSc, 1983
University of Vermont College of Medicine, MD, 1957


  • The Alexander Fleming Award for lifetime achievement 2020

Hospital Affiliations


  • The Alexander Fleming Award for lifetime achievement 2020