• Portrait of Lyle McKinnon.
  • Associate professor

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
    Room 504 - 745 Bannatyne Ave.
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0W2

    Phone: 204-975-7708


Community Health Sciences, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences

Research achievements

Research summary

Dr. Lyle McKinnon's research concentrates on understanding the transmission of HIV in human populations and the immune foundations of susceptibility and protection from infectious disease. His team is focused on exploring the epidemiology and biology of HIV transmission and acute infection in humans, particularly in the female genital and gastrointestinal tracts. 

Their studies include identifying factors that affect the number and types of HIV target cells in different parts of the body, investigating the interaction between the microbiome and host at mucosal surfaces, and studying how immune regulation of inflammation may impact mucosal barrier integrity. The research is conducted in collaboration with female sex workers, men who have sex with men, and young women. The ultimate goal of this work is to develop more effective options for preventing HIV among those who are most at risk.

In addition to HIV, new research projects focus on HPV clearance and factors that influence immunity to chlamydia and gonorrhea. These studies aim to better understand novel vaccine strategies that target mucosal immune responses.

Research interests

  • Cell-mediated immunity
  • HIV and STI epidemiology
  • HIV transmission
  • HPV clearance mechanisms
  • Immunity to STIs
  • Inflammation
  • Microbiome research
  • Mucosal immunology of the female genital, gastrointestinal, and nasal tracts
  • Tolerance mechanisms

Research affiliations

Honorary senior scientist at the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) in Durban, South Africa

Honorary lecturer at the Department of Human Pathology at the University of Nairobi in Nairobi, Kenya

Visiting scientist at the JC Wilt Infectious Diseases Research Centre of the Public Health Agency of Canada in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Dr. Lyle McKinnon is an associate professor in the departments of medical microbiology and infectious diseases, as well as community health sciences, at the University of Manitoba.

During his training, Dr. McKinnon spent approximately 10 years in Nairobi, Kenya conducting field research including epidemiological and immunological studies of high-risk men and women.

He then spent more than three years at CAPRISA in Durban, South Africa continuing his work in mucosal immunology in the context of HIV prevention trials in women.

Dr. McKinnon has published >125 peer-reviewed articles and has an H-index of 40.

He has received funding from various sources including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF), Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Research Manitoba, Manitoba Medical Services Foundation, and the University of Manitoba Rady Faculty of Health Sciences.


Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Manitoba (2009)

Bachelor of Science in Biology, University of Winnipeg (2001)



  • Merit Award in Research, Scholarly Work and Creative Activities, University of Manitoba / University of Manitoba Faculty Association
  • Bhagirath Singh Early Career Award in Infection and Immunity, CIHR Institute for Infection and Immunity



  • Finalist, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Manitoba's Future 40
  • Merit Award in Research, Scholarly Work and Creative Activities, University of Manitoba / University of Manitoba Faculty Association, $3000
  • The Ken Hughes Young Investigator Award for Medical Research, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, $1900


  • Dr. Frank Plummer Researcher of the Year Award, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Manitoba, $1000
  • Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) and the Canadian Association for HIV Researchers (CAHR) Excellence in Research Award, Basic Sciences track.


  • New Investigator Award, Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), $60,000 per year for five years

Dr. Lyle McKinnon In the news

Contact us

Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Max Rady College of Medicine
Room 543 - 745 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9 Canada