Ellen F Foxman, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Immunobiology

Departments & Organizations

Laboratory Medicine: Clinical Virology Laboratory | Foxman Lab

Immunobiology: Human and Translational Immunology Program

CPIRT - Pulmonary Infection Research and Treatment

Virology Laboratories

Virus and Other Infection-associated Cancers

Yale Medicine


Dr. Foxman's research interest is understanding the natural mechanisms that protect the airway from respiratory viruses. Recent evidence shows that respiratory viruses enter the airway much more frequently than they cause illness. Current projects focus on (1) identifying the antiviral defense mechanisms of the airway epithelium, (2) understanding how the environment influences antiviral defense and tips the balance between health and disease upon exposure to a virus, and (3) using biomarkers of the body's response to infection to diagnose the cause of respiratory symptoms.

Background. Dr. Foxman received her M.D. and Ph.D. training at Stanford University, and her residency training in Clinical Pathology, a medical specialty devoted to diagnostic testing, at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA. Her postdoctoral studies in host-virus interactions were conducted with the mentorship of Akiko Iwasaki in the Department of Immunobiology at Yale. These studies demonstrated mechanisms whereby cool ambient temperature permits growth of the common cold virus by diminishing antiviral responses of airway epithelial cells. Dr. Foxman is currently an Assistant Professor in the Yale Department of Laboratory Medicine.

Education & Training

MD Stanford University School of Medicine (2001)
PhD Stanford University School of Medicine (1999)
BS Yale University (1993)
Resident in Clinical Pathology Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Board Certification AB of Pathology, Clinical Pathology (2004)

Honors & Recognition

  • 2019 Levine Lab Laureate AwardRosalind Franklin Society (2019)

  • 2019 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research AwardThe Hartwell Foundation (2019)

  • 2017 Prize Recipient, National Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostic Challenge, Phase INIH (2017)

  • 2011 Invited lecturer, 9th International Student SeminarKyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

  • 2013 Invited Young Investigator oral presentation, ASM General MeetingAmerican Society for Microbiology

  • 2013 Paul E. Strandjord Young Investigator Award with DistinctionAcademy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists

  • 2010 Recipient of Research Supplement to Promote Reentry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research CareersNational Institutes of Health

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Contact Info

Ellen F Foxman, MD, PhD
Mailing Address
Laboratory MedicineDepartment of Laboratory Medicine
333 Cedar Street, P.O. Box 208035

New Haven, CT 06520-8035

Foxman Lab

Research Image 1

Micrograph of human bronchial epithelial cells, seven hours after exposure to rhinovirus 1B. Rhinovirus infection of airway epithelial cells results in accumulation of double stranded RNA (dsRNA; blue) during viral genome replication. Cells are also stained with Mitotracker red to reveal the location of mitochondria, the cellular structures associated with innate immune signaling via the RIG-I like receptor pathway(red). Photograph courtesy of Ulysses Isidro, Yale University senior thesis student.