About Jay Fishman, MD

Jay A. Fishman is Director of the Transplant Infectious Diseases and Compromised Host Program at the Mass General, Associate Director of the Mass General Transplant Center and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. Dr. Fishman is an internationally recognized expert in infectious diseases related to transplantation and has trained many of the leaders in this field. He has a special interest in molecular diagnostics, transplant virology and mycology, and in medical education.

He is Past-President of the American Society of Transplantation and has served on the Boards of the International Transplant Infectious Disease and International Xenotransplantation Societies and of the Immunocompromised Host Society and is a frequent contributor at national and international symposia. He has been recognized by the Clinical Career Achievement Award of the American Society of Transplantation and the Transplantation Society Award for Transplant Infectious Disease. Dr. Fishman's clinical and research interests focus on the pathogenesis and prevention of infection in the immunocompromised host. His NIH-funded laboratory is investigating infectious disease issues related to xenotransplantation and the role of viral infections in transplantation.

Clinical Interests:




Mass General Infectious Diseases
55 Fruit St.
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-726-3906

Medical Education

  • , Johns Hopkins University
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital

American Board Certifications

  • Infectious Disease, American Board of Internal Medicine

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Dr. Fishman's research is focused on the pathogenesis of infections in immunocompromised hosts including:

  • Studies of the molecular biology of viruses associated with pig-to-primate xenotransplantation including porcine endogenous retrovirus, porcine lymphotropic herpesvirus, porcine cytomegalovirus
  • Large animal models of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders
  • Indirect effects of viral infection in solid organ and stem cell transplantation

Xenotransplantation: Studies of infection associated with interspecies transplantation have resulted in the identification of a variety of potential pathogens in pig-to-primate transplantation. This laboratory has achieved the first cloning and full-length sequencing of endogenous retroviruses from swine (PERV). A recombinant form of PERV (A-C) has been identified that is infectious for human cells in vitro. The mechanisms underlying this recombination and infectivity for human cells are under investigation.

Viral Infection in transplantation: Chronic allograft vasculopathy (CAV) of the coronary vasculature is a major cause of death in cardiac transplant patients. In murine heart transplantation, both T-cells and NK cells are involved in the pathogenesis of cardiac graft vasculopathy. We have demonstrated that Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV) induces CAV in T-cell deficient mice. We have isolated NK cell activity using RAG1-/- mice, which are deficient in T and B cells, but have an intact NK cell population. LCMV induced CAV in parental to F1 cardiac transplants in RAG1-/-mice.

Clinical Investigation: An active program in clinical investigation is in collaboration with the Transplantation and the Hematopoietic and Stem Cell Transplant Units. Studies of the pathogenesis of viral infections, the role of cytomegalovirus, novel viral vaccines, and of prophylaxis for bacterial, viral, and fungal infections in the immunocompromised host are ongoing.


  • Martin SI, Wilkinson RA, Fishman JA. Genomic presence of recombinant porcine endogenous retrovirus in transmitting miniature swine. Virology J., Virology Journal 2006, 3:1743-42

    Kawai T, Cosimi AB, Spitzer TR, Tolkoff-Rubin N, Suthanthiran M, Saidman SL, Shaffer J, Preffer FI, Ding R, Sharma V, Fishman JA, Dey BR, Ko DSC, Hertl M, Goes NB Wong W, Williams WW, Colvin RB, Sykes M, Sachs DH. HLA-Mismatched Renal Transplantation without Maintenance Immunosuppression, New Eng J Medicine, 2008, 358:353-361.

    Yang L, Güell M, Niu D, George H, Lesha E, Grishin D, Aach J, Shrock E, Xu W, Poci J, Cortazio R, Wilkinson RA, Fishman JA, Church G. Genome-wide inactivation of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs). Science. 2015 Nov 27;350(6264):1101-4.

    Rychert J, Danziger-Isakov L, Yen-Lieberman B, Storch G, Buller R, Sweet SC, Mehta AK, Cheeseman JA, Heeger P, Rosenberg ES, Fishman JA Multicenter comparison of laboratory performance in cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus viral load testing using international standards. .Clin Transplant. 2014 Dec;28(12):1416-23.

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