Dr. Deborah Persaud is a professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She holds joint appointments in international health and molecular microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is the interim Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases.
A clinician and researcher specializing in the study of HIV reservoirs and viral persistence in children towards ART-free remission and cure, Dr. Persaud received her B.S. in chemistry from York College in New York. A 1985 graduate of the New York University School of Medicine, she trained in pediatrics at Babies Hospital/Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, where she was chief resident. She was an infectious disease fellow, an Aaron Diamond postdoctoral research fellow and a faculty member at New York University. She joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1997, following a visiting lectureship at the Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya.
Her research interests include the immunopathogenesis of HIV latency, assay development and optimization for measuring viral reservoirs in pediatric infections along with novel approaches, including immunotherapeutics to achieve ART-free remission and cure. Her laboratory is a subspecialty lab for the IMPAACT and HPTN providing assay support to detect early, occult HIV infection in children and adults and measures of viral reservoirs.
Dr. Persaud is the scientific chair of the HIV Cure Scientific Committee of the International Maternal, Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) group. She also co-directs the Pediatric Adolescent Virus Elimination (PAVE) Martin Delaney Collaboratory focused on HIV cure for children. She was awarded the prestigious Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award for her HIV research and was recognized by Nature magazine in 2013 as one of “Ten People Who Mattered This Year.” She was recognized by Time magazine as among the “100 Most Influential People of 2013” for her pediatric HIV treatment research and in 2023 was a speaker at the TIME 100 Summit on Innovation for Tomorrow in the session entitled “Miracles in Medicine” for her work in HIV cure.