Frances Saccoccio, MD

Frances Saccoccio, MDTitle

Assistant Professor


  • Fellow, Duke University Health System
  • Resident, Virginia Commonwealth University Health System
  • Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth School of Medicine, Richmond, VA
  • B.S., Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA


Dr. Frances M Saccoccio MD, PhD is a physician-scientist with a research focus on prevention of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections. Congenital CMV infection is the leading non-genetic cause of hearing loss and occurs in 1:200 births. CMV is also a major cause of morbidity and mortality in transplant patients. Dr. Saccoccio earned a combined MD and PhD at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia in 2013 where her research focused on CMV vaccine development. She then completed a residency in general pediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in 2016 where she continued her CMV research. Dr. Saccoccio completed her fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Duke University Medical Center in 2019. During fellowship she focused her research on the immune response to CMV in mother-infant pairs. Her fellowship research was funding by the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society Fellowship Award Funded by the National CMV Foundation, Thrasher Early Career Award, Derfner Research Foundation, and NIH Loan Repayment, Division of Pediatric Research. Dr. Saccoccio joined the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UF Health in the summer of 2019 where she is continuing her research on prevention of CMV disease. Outside of patient care and research, Dr. Saccoccio enjoys hiking with her husband and their dog. She also enjoys training for half and full marathons with local running groups.

Key Publications

  1. Cornberg M, Sheridan BS, Saccoccio FM, Brehm MA, Selin LK. Protection against vaccinia virus challenge by CD8 memory T cells resolved by molecular mimicry. J Virol. 2007 Jan;81(2):934-44. PubMed PMID: 17079318; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1797447.
  2. Cornberg M, Clute SC, Watkin LB, Saccoccio FM, Kim SK, Naumov YN, Brehm MA, Aslan N, Welsh RM, Selin LK. CD8 T cell cross-reactivity networks mediate heterologous immunity in human EBV and murine vaccinia virus infections. J Immunol. 2010 Mar 15;184(6):2825-38. PubMed PMID: 20164414; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3253758.
  3. Saccoccio FM, Sauer AL, Cui X, Armstrong AE, Habib el-SE, Johnson DC, Ryckman BJ, Klingelhutz AJ, Adler SP, McVoy MA. Peptides from cytomegalovirus UL130 and UL131 proteins induce high titer antibodies that block viral entry into mucosal epithelial cells. Vaccine. 2011 Mar 24;29(15):2705-11. PubMed PMID: 21310190; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3084484.
  4. Saccoccio FM, Gallagher MK, Adler SP, McVoy MA. Neutralizing activity of saliva against cytomegalovirus. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2011 Sep;18(9):1536-42. PubMed PMID: 21795465; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3165217.
  5. McVoy MA, Lee R, Saccoccio FM, Hartikka J, Smith LR, Mahajan R, Wang JB, Cui X, Adler SP. A cytomegalovirus DNA vaccine induces antibodies that block viral entry into fibroblasts and epithelial cells. Vaccine. 2015 Dec 16;33(51):7328-36. PubMed PMID: 26597035; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4684450.
  6. Burghuber CK, Manook M, Ezekian B, Gibby AC, Leopardi FV, Song M, Jenks J, Saccoccio F, Permar S, Farris AB, Iwakoshi NN, Kwun J, Knechtle SJ. Dual targeting: combining costimulation blockade and bortezomib to permit kidney transplantation in sensitized recipients. Am J Transplant. 2019 Mar;19(3):724-736. doi: 10.1111/ajt.15067. Epub 2018 Sep 17. PMID: 30102844
  7. Saccoccio FM, Jenks JA, Itell HL, Li SH, Berry M, Pollara J, Casper C, Gantt S, Permar SR. J Humoral Immune Correlates for Prevention of Postnatal Cytomegalovirus Acquisition. Infect Dis. 2019 Jul 31;220(5):772-780. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiz192. PMID: 31107951

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