Philana Ling Lin, M.D., M.Sc.

  • Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases

Major Lectureships and Seminars

  • “Animal Models” speaker in “Smoldering TB: Exploring the Full Spectrum of Infection with TB” Scientific Symposium, American Thoracic Society, Washington, D.C., May 2017
  • “Immunopathogenic mechanisms of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis”, Symposium on Synthetic Immunity. Sante Fe, N.Mex. July 2017
  • “Tuberculosis: Lessons from a Jigsaw Puzzle”, NIH Symposium on Molecular Mechanisms and Immune Consequences of Pathogen Reservoirs: Battling Unseen enemies, Bethesda, Md. September 2017
  • “TB infection: Building a Framework for Eradication” sponsored by National Institutes of Health and Harvard Medical School Center for Global Health Delivery, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. September 2017

Professional Affiliations/Society Memberships

  • Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
  • Infectious Diseases Society of America
  • Society for Pediatric Research
  • American Association of Immunology
  • American Society for Microbiology

Education & Training

  • Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (NEOUCOM)- M.D.
  • University of Chicago Children's Hospital- Residency
  • UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh - Fellowship
  • University of Pittsburgh- M.S.C.R.

Representative Publications

Research Interests

Philana Ling Lin’s research program is focused on the immunologic mechanisms of M. tuberculosis infection, the bacterium that causes TB. Her work has examined the role of various immunological factors (e.g., CD4 T cells, CD8 T cells, and TNF) involved the host response to control both primary and latent M. tuberculosis infection. She also showed that PET CT characteristics of TB can be used to predict outcome soon after infection, as a modality of early treatment response and risk of reactivation. Her work has shown that latent infection is a spectrum of disease and is associated with risk to reactivation that has important implications in human TB. Her recent studies are focused co-infection with TB and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a surrogate for HIV. The overall goals of her research program are to: improve the current understanding of disease progression, identify predictors of infection outcome, distinguish risk factors for reactivation after latency, develop better strategies for vaccine development, and devise more targeted methods of curing disease from reservoirs and improving treatment outcomes. Her research has been funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, American Lung Association, Center for AIDS Research, Otis Foundation, University of Pittsburgh MIDAS National Center of Excellence, and the NIH including current RO1, R21, and RO3 funding formats. She has published in high impact journals that include Nature Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Plos Pathogens. She is the program director for the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training program at the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and has mentored a number of medical students, residents, and fellows on scholarly projects.

Her ongoing research activities include

  • Develop blood transcriptional signatures of reactivation risk
  • Recognize innate and early adaptive host responses in the airways associated with infection outcome
  • Characterize reservoirs of reactivation during pre-existing latent infection and subsequent SIV infection
  • Identify immune mechanisms of reactivation TB during SIV-TB co-infection
  • Distinguish immunologic and PET CT imaging risk factors of treatment relapse
  • Determine immunologic mechanisms of increased susceptibility to severe TB during SIV infection with and without antiretroviral treatment
  • Examine the impact of TB on SIV viral diversity
  • Identify TB vaccine candidates to advance into human clinical trials
  • Surveilling the epidemiology of pediatric invasive pneumococcal infection after universal conjugate pneumococcal vaccination