STEM History:

Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga


Filipino American Physician and Pediatric Immunologist

Birth/Death Dates

Birthdate unknown


In 2013, Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga, along with Dr. Hannah Gay and Dr. Deborah Persaud, was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in The World” for functionally curing a newborn with HIV infection.

Educational Background

  • B.S. in biochemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • M.S. in biochemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • M.D., Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Residency in pediatrics, Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center
  • Clinical and research fellowship training in adult and pediatric infectious diseases, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Struggles this Innovator Overcame

Unknown, although given the state of many institutions at the time she was educated, she probably faced gender bias.

Problems this Innovator Solved

Finding a functional cure for HIV-positive infants.

How this inventor changed the world (or at least their corner of it)

Luzuriaga developed early diagnostic methods for pediatric HIV infection, led the first clinical trials of nevirapine in children, and conducted Phase I studies of several other antiretroviral therapies (ART) labeled for pediatric use.

Doctors Luzuriaga, Gay, and Persaud conducted a study that showed that following the administration of antiretroviral therapy (ART) within 30 hours of birth, infants experienced remission from HIV infections.

Lasting changes from this inventor’s work or how they trailblazed

The breakthrough study by Doctors Luzuriaga, Gay, and Persaud paved the way to reduce HIV infection in children and raised hope for babies worldwide.