W. Ian Lipkin

W. Ian Lipkin

W. Ian Lipkin

John Snow Professor
Epidemiology, Professor of Neurology and Pathology and Cell Biology
Director, Center for Infection and Immunity


Center for Infection and Immunity, 722 West 168th Street, Room 1703a
New York NY USA 10032
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W. Ian Lipkin, MD, Lipkin is the Director of the Center for Solutions for ME/CFS, the John Snow Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Director for the Center of Infection and Immunity with the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. He is internationally recognized for his contributions to global public health by being at the forefront of outbreak response and through the innovative methods he developed for infectious diseases diagnosis, surveillance, and discovery. These advances have been critical in replacing culture-dependent methods of global health management by creating new criteria for disease causation and de-linking spurious associations between putative agents and diseases. Such examples include refuting the MMR vaccine having a role in autism and XMRV in ME/CFS. Some of his most prestigious honors include Pew Scholar (Biomedical Sciences), Walter Reed Distinguished Lecturer, the Drexel Prize in Translational Medicine, the Mendel Medal (Villanova University), the International Science and Technology Cooperation Award of the Peoples Republic of China, and recipient of an award of appreciation given by the Chinese government in the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China for his service to the country during the SARS epidemic along with the subsequent scientific support he has given since. Lipkin consulted on testing and site safety protocols for the 2020 Democratic National Convention and the 2021 Academy Awards. He promotes public health awareness via print and broadcast media and served as scientific advisor to the 2011 Soderbergh film "Contagion".



Other, 1984, Residency in Neurology
Other, 1981, Residency in Internal Medicine
MD, 1978, Rush University
BA, 1974, Sarah Lawrence College

Mailman Affiliations

Director, Center for Infection and Immunity

Editorial Boards

Open Biology

Columbia Affiliations

Member, Dean's Advisory Group

Academic Appointments

John Snow Professor, Epidemiology, Professor of Neurology and Pathology and Cell Biology

Other Affiliations

Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Fellow, Infectious Disease Society of America
Fellow, American Academy of Neurology

Honors & Awards

Silverstein Lecturer, Northwestern University (2017)
Medel Medal, Villanova University (2014)
Drexel Prize in Translational Medicine (2013)
Senior Scholor in Global Infectious Diseases, Ellison Medical Foundation (2002)
Pew Scholar, Biomedical Sciences (1991)

Areas of Expertise

Autism, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Emerging Infections, Epidemics, Infectious Disease, Pathogen Discovery

Select Urban Health Activities

Pathogen Surveillance in NYC Rodents: Primary investigator on project to determine the microflora of rats and mice in proximity to densely populated and high traffic areas in New York City.

Select Global Activities

Gene Environment Interactions in an Autism Birth Cohort, Norway: Dr. Lipkin is principal investigator of a prospective birth cohort of 100,000 women, their children and partners focused on determining the epidemiology, natural trajectory of disease, and pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders.
SARS Outbreak Training and Treatment, China (People's Republic of): At the height of the 2003 SARS outbreak, Dr. Lipkin traveled to the People's Republic of China at the invitation of WHO, the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology, and the Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Science, hand-carrying 10,000 test kits to Beijing and trained clinical microbiologists on the proper usage.
MERS Outbreak Evaluation, Saudi Arabia: Dr. Lipkin was the first external investigator to be invited by the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia to assist in identifying reservoirs and vectors for transmission of the MERS coronavirus.

Select Publications

Lipkin WI. "The Known Knowns, the Known Unknowns, and the Unknown Unknowns of COVID-19". The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. July 21, 2021.
Briese T, Kapoor A, Mischra N, Jain K, Kumar A, Jabado OJ, Lipkin WI (2015) Virome-capture-sequencing (VirCapSeq) enables sensitive viral diagnosis and comprehensive virome analysis. mBio. Sep 22; 6(5):e01491-15.
Alagaili AN, Briese T, Mishra N, Kapoor V, Sameroff SC, de Wit E, Munster VJ, Hensley LE, Zalmout IS, Kapoor A, Epstein JH, Karesh WB, Daszak P, Mohammed OB, Lipkin WI (2014) Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection in dromedary camels in Saudi Arabia. mBio, 5(2):e00884-14.
Lipkin WI (2013) The changing face of pathogen surveillance and discovery. Nature Rev Microbiol, 11: 133.
Anthony SJ, Epstein JH, Murray KA, Navarrete-Macias I, Zambrana-Torrelio CM, Solovyov A, Ojeda-Flores R, Arrigo NC, Islam A, Khan SA, Hosseini P, Bogich TL, Olival KJ, Sanchez-Leon MD, Karesh WB, Goldstein T, Luby SP, Morse SS, Mazet JAK, Daszak P, Lipkin WI (2013) A strategy to estimate unknown viral diversity in mammals. mBio, 4:5 e00598-13
Alter HJ, Mikovits JA, Switzer WM, Ruscetti FW, Lo SC, Klimas N, Komaroff AL, Montoya JG, Bateman L, Levine S, Peterson D, Levin B, Hanson MR, Genfi A, Bhat M, Zheng H, Wang R, Li B, Hung GC, Lee LL, Sameroff S, Heneine W, Coffin J, Hornig M, Lipkin WI (2012) A multicenter blinded analysis indicates no association between chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis and either xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus or polytropic murine leukemia virus. mBio, 3: e00266-12.
Cox-Foster DL, Conlan S, Holmes EC, Palacios G, Evans JD, Moran NA, Quan PL, Briese T, Hornig M, Geiser DM, Martinson V, vanEngelsdorp D, Kalkstein AL, Drysdale A, Hui J, Zhai J, Cui L, Hutchison SK, Simons JF, Egholm M, Pettis JS, Lipkin WI (2007) A metagenomic survey of microbes in honey bee colony collapse disorder. Science. Oct 12;318(5848):283-7.
Briese T, Jia X-J, Huang C, Grady LJ, Lipkin WI (1999) Identification of a Kunjin/West Nile-like flavivirus in brains of New York encephalitis patients. Lancet, 354: 1261.
Lipkin WI, Travis GH, Carbone KM, Wilson MC (1990) Isolation and characterization of Borna disease agent cDNA clones. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 87: 4184.
Lipkin WI, Parry G, Kiprov D, Abrams D (1985) Inflammatory neuropathy in homosexual men with lymphadenopathy. Neurology, 35: 1479.

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