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John MacMicking, PhD

Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis and of Immunobiology; Member, Yale Systems Biology Institute; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute



John MacMicking is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator, Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis and Professor of Immunobiology. He trained in synthetic organic chemistry at the Australian National University (B.Sc, 1st Class Honors) where he conducted thesis work in the Department of Immunology & Cell Biology formerly headed by 1996 Nobel Laureate, Peter Doherty, at the John Curtin School of Medical Research.

He then came to the U.S. to pursue Ph.D studies with Carl Nathan in the Immunology program at Cornell University-Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York City before being selected as an HHMI Life Science Research Foundation Fellow at The Rockefeller University to conduct studies with John McKinney.

His doctoral dissertation described the first knockout of an interferon (IFN)-induced defense protein in eukaryotes - inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) - engineered between 1992-1995. It served as an early paradigm for cell-autonomous innate immunity to bacterial, viral and protozoan infections. At Rockefeller University he computationally identified, physically mapped and began functionally characterizing a complete IFN-inducible GTPase superfamily in humans and mice as a new defense network operating against all pathogen classes. For these discoveries he was named a Edward Mallinckrodt Jr Foundation Fellow (2004), Searle Scholar (2005), Cancer Research Institute Investigator (2006), Burroughs-Wellcome Fund Investigator (2008), CCFA Senior Research Awardee (2010), AAF Scholar (2014), and Kenneth Rainin Foundation Innovator (2014). In 2022, he received the Alumni Award of Distinction (Medical Sciences) from Cornell University.

Dr. MacMicking was promoted to Associate Professor in 2010 and tenured in 2014. He was chosen as an HHMI Investigator in 2015 before moving to the Yale Systems Biology Institute in 2017.

Education & Training

  • Assistant Professor (Adjunct)
    The Rockefeller University (2007)
  • Research Associate
    The Rockefeller University (2003)
  • HHMI LSRF Fellow
    The Rockefeller University (2000)
  • Revson Biomedical Fellow
    The Rockefeller University (1998)
  • PhD
    Cornell University (1997)
  • BSc (Hon)
    Australian National University (1990)


  • Austrian Science Fund
    Vienna, Vienna, Austria 2017
    International Reviewer
  • The Wellcome Trust
    London, England, United Kingdom 2016
    International Reviewer, Public Health & Tropical Medicine
  • The Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance
    New Delhi, DL, India 2015
    International Reviewer
  • Swiss National Research Foundation
    Bern, BE, Switzerland 2014
    International Reviewer, Biology and Medicine (Division III)
  • German Research Foundation (DFG)

    Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany 2013
    International Reviewer, Life Sciences 2 Programme
  • French National Research Agency (ANR)
    Paris, Ile-de-France, France 2012
    International Reviewer, Programme Blanc International
  • Health Research Board of Ireland (HRB)
    Dublin, Leinster, Ireland 2011
    International Reviewer, Translational Medicine Fellowships Programme
  • European Research Council (ERC)
    Brussels, Brussels Capital Region, Belgium 2011
    International Reviewer, European Union 7th Research Framework Advanced Grants Programme (FP7)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
    London, England, United Kingdom 2009
    International Reviewer, Strategic Grants Programme

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Alumni Award of DistinctionCornell University2022
InvestigatorHoward Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)2015
Innovator AwardKenneth Rainin Foundation2014
Scholar AwardAmerican Asthma Foundation (AAF)2014
Senior Investigator AwardCrohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA)2010
Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease AwardBurroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF)2008
Investigator AwardCancer Research Institute (CRI)2006
Searle Scholar AwardSearle-Chicago Community Trust2005
Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation FellowYale University2004
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Life Science Research Foundation (LSRF) FellowThe Rockefeller University1998
Charles H. Revson Fellow in Biomedical ResearchThe Rockefeller University1997
Distinguished Student Commencement Speaker AwardCornell University, New York, NY1997

Professional Service

Scientific Advisory Board, Searle Scholars ProgramScientific board member2022 - Present
Journal of Experimental MedicineEditorial Advisory Board2022 - Present
Cellular MicrobiologyEditorial Advisory Board2017 - 2021
American Society of Microbiology (Immunology division)Chair and Chair-Elect, Immunology Division2014 - 2016
NIAID, NIHStanding member, Immunity and Host Defense (IHD) Study Section2013 - 2015
Proceedings National Academy of Sciences USAGuest Editor2013 - Present

Departments & Organizations