Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
New York City, NY

Susan Zolla-Pazner is an immunologist whose research career has focused on the intersection of basic science and translational medicine. Her primary interest is the human immune response to infectious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and SARS-CoV-2. Susan was among the first scientists in 1981 to study the immune abnormalities in young adults with a new disease, AIDS. Her most recent work has focused on designing and testing HIV vaccines and developing diagnostic tests for COVID-19 antibodies. She has received funding for her studies from the National Institutes of Health, the Departments of Defence and Veterans Affairs, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Susan grew up in Los Angeles, went to Stanford and then to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center where she received her PhD in Microbiology. She then moved to New York City for her post-doctoral training and has lived there ever since, first on the faculty of NYU School of Medicine and now at the Mount Sinai Medical School. The DCI program allows her to finally move back to California, at least for the duration of the program.

Listening to and making music has been her long-time passion. She was a founding member of the New York-based chamber music organization, the Helicon Foundation, and has studied piano privately for many years. She was married to Sherman Pazner, MD for 43 years until his recent death. Susan is the mother of two sons (both musicians), the mother-in-law of two daughters-in-law and grandmother to three grandchildren.