Dr. Kovacs is the founder and director of LAC+USC’s Maternal, Child and Adolescent Center for Infectious Disease and Virology (MCA) as well as a Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology and the Division Head of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. She also directs the MCA Research Virology Laboratory, which is certified by the NIH to perform clinical trials and natural history studies. Additionally, Dr. Kovacs has over 20 years experience in clinical and translational research projects that include laboratory based research projects, clinical trials design and conduct, epidemiologic studies that involve small and large cohorts and translation studies that go from the bench to bedside. Most recently, she was invited to be a member of the NIH AIDS Research Advisory Committee and the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Group (IMPAACT) Network Executive Committee. Dr. Kovacs’ major areas of research are the pathogenesis, transmission, and treatment of HIV and associated co-infections including Hepatitis C, HPV and CMV. Her current research focuses on pathogenesis of disease and the role of viral infections. Specifically, she assesses the impact on immunopathogenesis of three viruses: human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human cytomegalovirus (CMV). She is also currently evaluating the impact of CMV on the developing immune system and is interested in understanding the role of regulatory T cells. In adult HIV+ women, she is evaluating the impact of immune activation on HIV disease and HCV disease. Dr. Kovacs has authored over 120 peer reviewed publications and over 120 other publications, abstracts, and book chapters. She has also participated in the development of local, state, and national guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of HIV in children and HIV testing of pregnant women.

Research Interests

  • Natural history of HIV infection
  • Pediatric maternal HIV infection
  • Virology

Clinical Interests

  • Perinatal Disease
  • Newborn infections
  • HIV disease
  • Congenital infections
  • Infectious disease


  • New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, MD, 1978
  • Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, NY, BA, 1974
  • North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, Long Island, NY (Pediatrics), 1978 – 1979
  • LAC+USC Medical Center (Pediatrics), 1980 – 1982
  • LAC+USC Medical Center (Pediatric Infectious Disease), 1982 – 1984
  • City of Hope National Medical Center (Virology Research), 1984 – 1985


  • Faculty Research and Innovation Fund Award, 1989
  • Los Angeles Magazine: Trail blazers of medicine, 1989
  • LAC+USC Cares Women in Medicine Award, 1990
  • The Best Doctors in America
  • Southern California Super Doctors
  • American Pediatric Society Fellow
  • American Academy of HIV Medicine
  • American Board of Pediatrics
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Infectious Disease Society of America
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Pediatric Infectious Disease Society.
  • International AIDS Society
  • NIH AIDS Research Advisory Commitee
  • IMPAACT Network Executive Committee
Clinical Affiliation
  • LAC+USC Medical Center
  • Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
  • LAC+USC Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Clinic


  • Kuniholm MH, Kovacs A, Gao X, Xue X, Marti D, Thio CL, Peters MG, Terrault NA, Greenblatt RM, Goedert JJ, Cohen MH, Minkoff H, Gange SJ, Anastos K, Fazzari M, Harris TG, Young MA, Strickler HD, Carrington M. Specific human leukocyte antigen class I and II alleles associated with hepatitis C virus viremia. Hepatology. 2009 Dec 23. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Kovacs A, Karim R, Mack WJ, Xu J, Chen Z, Operskalski E, Frederick T, Landay A, Voris J, Spencer LS, Young MA, Tien PC, Augenbraun M, Strickler HD, Al-Harthi L. Activation of CD8 T Cells Predicts Progression of HIV Infection in Women Coinfected with Hepatitis C Virus. J Infect Dis. 2010 Mar 15;201(6):823-834.
  • Operskalski EA, Kovacs A. HIV/HCV Co-infection: Pathogenesis, clinical complications, treatment, and new therapeutic technologies. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep. 8:12-22, 2011.
  • Laskus T, Wilkinson J, Karim R, Mack W, Radkowski M, Degiacomo M, Nasseri J, Chen Z, Xu J, Kovacs A. Hepatitis C virus quasispecies in HIV-infected women: Role of injecting drug use and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Hepatology. 2007 Aug;46(2):359-70.
  • Strickler HD, Howard AA, Peters M, Fazzari M, Yu H, Augenbraun M, Burk RD, French AL, Kaplan RC, Young M, Gange S, Xue X, Harris TG, Anastos K, Kovacs A. The insulin-like growth factor axis and risk of liver disease in hepatitis C virus/HIV-co-infected women. AIDS. 2008 Feb 19;22(4):527-31.
  • Kovacs A, Al-Harthi L, Christensen S, Mack W, Cohen M, Landay A. CD8(+) T Cell Activation in Women Coinfected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 and Hepatitis C Virus. J Infect Dis. 2008 May 15;197(10):1402-1407.
  • Kovacs A, Montepiedra G, Carey V, Pahwa S, Weinberg A, Frenkel L, Capparelli E, Mofenson L, Smith E, McIntosh K, Burchett SK for the PACTG 366 Study Team. Immune Reconstitution Following HAART in Children with Advanced or Progressive HIV Disease and Complete or Partial Viral Load Response. J Infect Dis 2005 Jul 15; 192(2):296-302.
  • Kovacs A, Villacres MC. The role of race and gender in T cell responses in children perinatally infected with HIV-1. J Infect Dis 2005 Nov 15; 192(10):1683-1685.
  • Al-Harthi L, Voris J, Du W, Wright D, Nowicki M, Frederick T, Landay A, Kovacs A. Evaluating the impact of HCV on HAART-mediated immune responses in HCV/HIV co-infected women: Role of HCV on expression of memory T cells. J Infect Dis 2006 May 1; 193(9):1202-1210.
  • Kovacs A, Connors M. HIV-1 and immune control: can we change the course of HIV-1? Lancet 2004 Mar 13; 363(9412):833-834.

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