Portrait of Joseph Kovacs

Joseph Kovacs, MD
Senior Investigator and Head
AIDS Section
Critical Care Medicine Department

Academic Degrees
BA, Harvard University
MD, Cornell University Medical College

Email: jkovacs@cc.nih.gov

Phone: 301-496-9907

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NIH Clinical Center Senior Staff

Joseph Kovacs, MD


Dr. Joseph Kovacs is a senior investigator in the Clinical Center's Critical Care Medicine Department at the National Institutes of Health. Since 1987, he has served as head of CCMD's AIDS Section. He also is an associate clinical professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Dr. Kovacs completed his undergraduate degree at Harvard University and obtained his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. After an internship and residency at New York Hospital, he came to the CC in 1982 for fellowships in infectious diseases and critical care.

Dr. Kovacs's research interests include the treatment and prevention of HIV infection, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, and Toxoplasma gondii infection. He currently is active in several societies and organizations, including the American Society for Clinical Investigation (elected to membership in 1994) and the Association of American Physicians (elected in 1998). He has served on several editorial boards of professional journals in infectious diseases and drug resistance, including currently as associate editor of Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Honors and Awards

NIH Bench-to-Bedside Research Award, 2010-2011, 2007-2008, 2006-2007, and 2005-2006; Clinical Center Director's Award, 1999; U.S. Public Health Service Outstanding Unit Citation, 1995, and Outstanding Service Medal, 1995; Young Investigator Award, American Federation for Clinical Research (Eastern Region), 1993; USPHS Unit Commendation, 1991, Commendation Medal, 1990, and Incentive Award for Scientific Achievement, 1989; Young Investigator Award, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 1988; Alpha Omega Alpha.

Selected Publications


Kovacs JA. Pneumocystis Pneumonia. In "Cecil Textbook of Medicine" 25th edition. Ed. Goldman L and Schafer A. Elsevier, Burlington, MA (In press).

Montoya J, Boothroyd J, and Kovacs JA,. Toxoplasma gondii. In "Mandell Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases", 8th edition. Ed. Mandell GL, Bennett JE, and Dolin R. Churchill Livingstone, Inc., New York, NY (2015).

Kovacs J and Masur H. The Evolving Health Effects of Pneumocystis: One Hundred Years of Progress in Diagnosis and Treatment. JAMA 301:2578-85, 2009.

Morse CG, and Kovacs JA. Metabolic and Skeletal Complications of HIV Infection: The Price of Success. JAMA. 296:844-854, 2006.

Larsen HH, Masur H, and Kovacs JA. 2005. Current Regimens For Treatment And Prophylaxis of Pneumocystis jiroveci Pneumonia. In Cushion MT and Walzer PD (ed). Pneumocystis Pneumonia, 3rd ed. Marcell Dekker, New York.

Kottilil S, Polis MA, and Kovacs JA. HIV Infection, HCV Infection and HAART: Difficult clinical decisions. JAMA. 292: 243-50, 2004

Kovacs JA. General Immune-based Therapies in the Management of HIV-infected Patients. in "AIDS Therapy", 2nd edition. ed. Dolin R, Masur H, and Saag MS. Churchill Livingstone, Inc., New York, NY. 2003.

Kovacs JA, Gill VJ, Meshnick S, and Masur H. New insights into transmission, diagnosis, and drug treatment of P. carinii pneumonia. JAMA 286: 2450-2460, 2001.

Kovacs JA and Masur H. Prophylaxis against opportunistic infections in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection. N. Engl. J. Med. 342:1416-29, 2000.

Kovacs JA. Diagnosis of P. carinii pneumonia. In Shelhamer JH, moderator. The laboratory evaluation of pulmonary opportunistic infections. Ann. Intern. Med. 124: 585-599, 1996.

Walworth CM, Tavel JA, and Kovacs JA. "Treatment and prevention of opportunistic infections in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection" in Advances in Internal Medicine, Volume 41. Schrier RW, ed. Mosby Year Book, Inc. Chicago, IL, 1996.


Burbelo PD, Bayat A, Rhodes CS, Hoh R, Martin JN, Fromentin R, Chomont N, Hütter G, Kovacs JA, Deeks SG. HIV Antibody Characterization as a Method to Quantify Reservoir Size During Curative Interventions. J Infect Dis. 2014. 209:1613-7.

Ma L, Huang D, Cuomo CA, Sykes S, Fantoni G, Das B, Sherman BT, Yang J, Huber C, Xia Y, Davey E, Kutty G, Bishop L, Sassi M, Lempicki RA, and Kovacs JA. Sequencing and characterization of the complete mitochondrial genomes of three Pneumocystis species provide new insights into divergence between human and rodent Pneumocystis. FASEB J. 27: 1962-72, 2013.

Sassi M, Ripamonti C, Mueller NJ, Yazaki H, Kutty G, Ma L, Huber C, Gogineni E, Oka S, Goto N, Fehr T, Gianella S. Konrad R, Sing A, and Kovacs JA. Outbreaks of Pneumocystis Pneumonia in Two Renal Transplant Centers Linked to a Single Strain of Pneumocystis: Implications for Transmission and Virulence. Clin. Infect Dis. 54:1437-44, 2012.

Morse CG, Voss JG, Rakocevic G, McLaughlin M, Vinton C, Huber C, Hu X, Yang J, Huang DW, Logun C, Danner RL, Rangel ZG, Munson PJ, Orenstein JM, Rushing EJ, Lempicki RA, Dalakas MC, and Kovacs JA. HIV Infection and Antiretroviral Therapy Have Divergent Effects on Mitochondria in Adipose Tissue. J. Infect Dis. 205:1778-87, 2012.

Srinivasula S, Lempicki RA, Adelsberger JW, Huang CY, Roark J, Lee PI, Rupert A, Stevens R, Sereti I, Lane HC, Di Mascio M, Kovacs JA. Differential effects of HIV viral load and CD4 count on proliferation of naive and memory CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes. Blood 118:262-70, 2011.

Ripamonti C, Orenstein A, Kutty G, Huang L, Schuhegger R, Sing A, Fantoni G, Atzori C, Vinton C, Huber C, Conville S, Kovacs JA. RFLP Typing Demonstrates Substantial Diversity among Pneumocystis jirovecii Isolates. J. Infect Dis. 200:1616-22, 2009.

Morse CG, Mican JM, Jones EC, Joe GO, Rick ME, Formentini E, Kovacs JA. The Incidence and Natural History of Osteonecrosis in HIV-Infected Adults. Clin Infect Dis 44:739-48, 2007.

Kovacs JA, Lempicki RA, Sidorov I, Adelsberger JW, Sereti I, Sachau W, Kelly G, Metcalf JA, Davey RT, Falloon J, Polis MA, Tavel J, Stevens R, Lambert L, Hosack DA, Bosche M, Issaq HJ, Fox SD, Leitman S, Baseler MW, Masur H, Di Mascio M, Dimitrov DS, and Lane HC. Induction of Prolonged Survival of CD4+ T Lymphocytes by Intermittent IL-2 Therapy in HIV-infected Patients. J. Clin. Invest. 115:2139-2148, 2005.

Kovacs JA, Lempicki RA, Sidorov I, Adelsberger JW, Herpin B, Metcalf JA, Polis MA, Davey RT, Tavel J, Falloon J, Stevens R, Lambert L, Dewar R, Schwartzentruber DJ, Anver MR, Baseler MW, Masur H, Dimitrov DS, and Lane HC. Identification of dynamically distinct subpopulations of T lymphocytes that are differentially affected by HIV J. Exp. Med. 194:7131-1741, 2001.

Ma L, Borio L, Masur H, and Kovacs JA. Pneumocystis carinii dihydropteroate synthase but not dihydrofolate reductase gene mutations correlate with prior trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or dapsone use. J. Infect. Dis. 180: 1969 -1978, 1999.

Kovacs JA, Vogel S, Albert JM, Falloon J, Davey RT,Jr., Walker RE, Polis MA, Spooner K, Metcalf JA, Baseler M, Fyfe G, Dewar RJ, Masur H, and Lane HC. Controlled trial of interleukin-2 infusions in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus. N. Engl. J. Med. 335: 1350-1356, 1996.

Angus CW, Tu A, Vogel P, Qin M, and Kovacs JA. Expression of variants of the major surface glycoprotein of P. carinii. J Exp. Med.183:1229-1234, 1996.

Lipschik GY, Gill VJ, Lundgren J, Andrawis VA, Nelson NA, Nielsen JO, Ognibene FP, and Kovacs JA. Improved diagnosis of P. carinii infection by polymerase chain reaction in induced sputum and blood. Lancet. 340:203-206, 1992

Lundgren B, Lipschik GY and Kovacs JA. Purification and characterization of a major human P. carinii surface antigen. J. Clin. Invest. 87:163-170, 1991.

Kovacs JA, Ng V, Masur H, Leoung G, Hadley WK, Evans G, Lane HC, Ognibene FP, Shelhamer JH, Parrillo JE, and Gill VJ: Diagnosis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia: improved detection in sputum with use of monoclonal antibodies. N Engl J Med 318:589-593, 1988.

Kovacs JA, Hiemenz JW, Macher AM, Stover D, Murray HW, Shelhamer JH, Lane HC, Urmacher C, Honig C, Longo DL, Parker MM, Natanson C, Parrillo JE, Fauci AS, Pizzo PA, and Masur H: Pnemocystis carinii pneumonia: a comparison between patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and patients with other immunodeficiencies. Ann Intern Med 100:663-671, 1984.

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