Ioanna Skountzou

Associate Professor

Emory University School of Medicine


Dr. Skountzou is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and an Investigator in the Emory/UGA Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance. She received her M.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she studied the role of glucocorticoids on gluconeogenesis. She further pursued her M.D. at the University of Patrai Medical School, Greece and her Ph.D. in Immunology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Medical School, Greece where she studied the effect of pyridoxine deficiency on T cells. She finished her residency in Internal Medicine and Laboratory Medicine in Greece. During her postdoctoral training at Emory University with Prof. R.W. Compans she focused her research on development of virus-like particles (VLPs) as vaccine antigens for HIV/SIV, and influenza virus pathogenesis and host immune responses to influenza infection. As an investigator of the Emory/UGA CEIRS she studied the phenomenon known as “original antigenic sin” with Dr. Joshy Jacob.

Dr. Skountzou is currently investigating the following projects:

  • Mechanisms leading to adverse outcome of pregnancy following influenza infection.
  • Development of novel transdermal delivery of viral vaccines with microneedle patches in collaboration with Georgia Institute of Technology. This technology shows superior protective immunity and longevity of immune responses compared to conventional immunization.
  • Influenza pathogenesis in chronically inflamed lung epithelial cells (cystic fibrosis, COPD and asthma), and signal transduction pathways leading to the induction of host innate and adaptive immune responses.
  • In collaboration with Dr. Joshy Jacob she aims to discover mechanisms that could overcome maternal antibody-mediated suppression of infant immune responses.

Awards and Grants


Research Topics