Liza Konnikova, MD, PhD, FAAP

Liza Konnikova, MD, PhD, FAAP
Principal Investigator

Education

  • 2007 MD, PhD, Medicine, Physiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1999 BA, Biology and Chemistry, Brandeis University, University, Waltham, Massachusetts

Training

  • 2013 Fellowship, Neonatology, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2010 Residency, Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

Research Interests

An attending neonatologist and an assistant professor/early-stage investigator in Pediatrics, Developmental Biology and Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Liza Konnikova’s focus is on the development of neonatal immunity at mucosal surfaces and its role in the pathogenesis of diverse diseases such as sepsis, preterm labor, necrotizing enterocolitis and very-early onset IBD (VEO-IBD). Her postdoctoral training focused on the development of gastrointestinal (GI) tolerance in children. Through collaborative initiatives, she has shown that a novel subtype of regulatory T-cells exists in the human GI tract and is important in controlling Th17. In Dr. Konnikova’s studies of the role of IL10 signaling in mucosal immune development, she has demonstrated that IL10R-deficient patients develop a profound increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL1b and IL17.

She has pioneered the application of mass cytometry to frozen mucosal biopsies, helping to improve our understanding of mucosal immunity. This innovation has helped to identify novel populations of immune cells in VEO-IBD and to perform serial monitoring of IBD activity in drug trials. In addition to continuing studies on GI immune development in infants and young children, her lab is applying these techniques to gain a better understanding of placental immune development and postulates that there are potential infection-independent immune triggers in the placenta that induce preterm labor and set up a pro-inflammatory cascade in the infants.

Clinical Activities

Board-certified in Pediatrics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Dr. Konnikova, sees patients through the division of Newborn Medicine at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. For appointments call 412-692-5030.

View Dr. Konnikova’s full list of publications on PubMed.