Dr. Kovacs is a Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology and the Founder and Director of LAC+USC’s Maternal, Child and Adolescent Center for Infectious Diseases and Virology (MCA). She is Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the LAC+USC Medical Center/Keck School of Medicine of USC. Dr. Kovacs has dedicated her career to developing new strategies to provide state-of-the-art clinical care to underserved populations using innovative strategies of integrated, multidisciplinary care combined with cutting edge clinical, translational and laboratory-based research at all levels of care to improve the outcomes of these patients, and to educate a new generation of clinicians and researchers to serve them.
Dr. Kovacs, is the principal investigator of the USC clinical trials unit for the NIH International, Maternal, Pediatric, and Adolescent Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) group and directs the MCA Research Laboratory, which is certified by the NIH, CLIA, CAP and the State of California to perform clinical trials and natural history studies. MCA research projects have included laboratory-based projects, clinical trials design and conduct, epidemiological studies that involve small and large cohorts and translational studies that go from the bench to bedside.
Dr. Kovacs has many years’ experience, dating to the first cases of acquired immunodeficiency virus (AIDS), in clinical and translational research studies with major emphasis on pathogenesis, transmission, treatment and prevention of human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human cytomegalovirus (CMV). Her current research focuses on understanding how viruses act together to alter the immune system and cause disease. Ongoing studies include the impact of "HCV cure" and liver disease on immune activation/dysregulation in reproductive aging HIV and HCV co-infected women and the role of CMV on “immunologic aging” in both children and adults. In infants, she is assessing what effect congenital or perinatal CMV infection has on the developing immune system.