Sarah Fortune
Primary Faculty

Sarah Fortune

John LaPorte Given Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Other Positions

Chair, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


My laboratory focuses on the molecular basis of population heterogeneity in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and the extent to which differences between mycobacterial cells contribute to differences in disease and treatment outcomes. Our work combines bacterial genetic approaches with high throughput methodologies including population genomics, ssRNAseq and quantitative live cell imaging to define the molecular mechanisms by which Mtb generates diversity and how this diversity enables the bacterium to survive subsequent selective forces including antibiotics and immune selection. We further seek to understand the impact of host immune responses on the interaction of Mtb with the infected host, again working at both single cell and genomic levels. My work engages a broad network of collaborators including experts in technologies to assess single cell behavior at MIT and MGH, experts in sequencing methodologies at the Broad Institute and experts in human immunology at the Ragon Institute, where I am the outgoing Director of the TB Program.

B.S., 1990, Biology
Yale University

M.D., 1996, Medicine
Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons

2000, 3years Internship/Residency in Internal Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

2001, 1year Clinical Fellowship in Infectious Diseases
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Post Doc, 2006, Immunology & Infectious Diseases - 5years Postdoctoral Fellow

Junior Faculty Mentoring Award2019-2020
Harvard School of Public Health

John LaPorte Given Professor 2017
Harvard School of Public Health

Alice B. Hamilton Award2013
Harvard School of Public Health

Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases2012
Burroughs Welcome Foundation

Melvin and Geraldine Glimcher Associate Professorship2012
Harvard School of Public Health

Science and Public Leadership Fellow2010

Clinical Scientist Development Award2010
Doris Duke

Early Career Award2007
Hood Foundation

Early Career Award2007
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

New Innovator Award2007
National Institute of Health

The Maxwell Finland Award for Excellence in Research2004
Mass. Infectious Disease Society

The Maxwell Finland Award for Excellence in Research, Mass. Infectious Disease Society2004
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

Teaching Award for Residents in Internal Medicine2001
Harvard Medical School

Alpha Omega Alpha1996

Phi Beta Kappa1993

Medical Student Fellowship for Return to Medical Studies1993
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Medical Student Research Fellowship1993
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

B.S. Summa Cum Laude1990

Community Service Award1989



Kizzmekia Corbett among 2021 Bostonians of the Year

Kizzmekia Corbett, assistant professor of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard Chan School, was named one of the 2021 Bostonians of the Year by the Boston Globe for her pioneering research aimed at developing a COVID-19 vaccine and…