Jay Rappaport, Ph.D., Director and Chief Academic Officer

Jay Rappaport, Ph.D., is the Director and Chief Academic Officer of the Tulane National Primate Research Center. He is also a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Tulane University School of Medicine. 

Rappaport provides vision and leadership for the 40 faculty members and 300 employees at the primate center who support its mission to improve human and animal health through basic and applied biomedical research. Currently, he is deeply involved in COVID-19 research and serves as a member of the NIH public-private partnership, ACTIV, Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines.  

Prior to serving as director of the primate center, Rappaport was professor and associate chair for education in the neuroscience department at Temple University's Lewis Katz School of Medicine. His research focused on HIV infection, HIV/AIDS related disorders of the nervous system, and the development of therapies for treating AIDS.

Rappaport previously held positions at Medical College of Pennsylvania-Hahnemann University, Mount Sinai Medical Center, University of California San Diego and the National Institutes of Health. A native of Philadelphia, Rappaport earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and his doctorate degree in microbiology from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2020, he was awarded The Herman and Gertrude Silver Lectureship Award by the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania.

View Dr. Rappaport's publications on PubMed

Mark Alise, PhD


Mark Alise, MBA, Ph.D., Senior Associate Director and Chief Operations Officer 

Mark Alise, Ph.D., is the Senior Associate Director and Chief Operations Officer of the Tulane National Primate Research Center. 

Since joining the TNPRC in 2013, Dr. Alise has provided leadership of the administration and operations of the center in the areas of finance, facilities, information technology, human resources, security, safety, communications, external relations, and occupational health.  

Prior to coming to Tulane, Dr. Alise served ten years at the LSU-Pennington Biomedical Research Center in similar leadership roles, giving him over 20 years’ experience leading biomedical research administration and operations.


Woong Ki Kim, PhD

Woong-Ki Kim, PhD, Associate Director for Research 

Woong-Ki Kim, Ph.D., is the Associate Director for Research at the Tulane National Primate Research Center. He is also the Chair of the Division of Microbiology and a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Tulane School of Medicine. 

Woong-Ki Kim, Ph.D, obtained his doctoral degree from Rutgers – New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he studied neuropeptide regulation of microglia and astrocyte activation in spinal cord injury and herpes simplex virus 1 infection, and completed his post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, studying viral immunology and virus-induced neuropathogenesis with a focus on HIV and the JC virus.

Upon his tenure-track faculty appointment, Dr. Kim moved to Eastern Virginia Medical School where he studied HIV pathogenesis with a focus on macrophage biology, using both humans and nonhuman primates. Dr. Kim joined the Tulane National Primate Research Center in early 2023.