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Tricia Burdo

research associate professor

Dr. Tricia Burdo

Ph.D., Penn State College of Medicine

Phone: 617-552-3103

Fields of Interest

NeuroAIDS pathogenesis, HIV/SIV peripheral neuropathy, osteopontin, monocytes/macrophages.

Academic Profile

My research has examined the pathogenesis of central nervous system (CNS) diseases, focusing on neuroAIDS resulting from human immunodeficiency (HIV) and the non-human primate equivalent simian immunodeficiency (SIV) infection. I have specifically been interested in the viral and cellular interactions that lead to the disruption of cellular function in neuroAIDS.

My doctoral dissertation research was performed at the Penn State College of Medicine under the guidance of Dr. Brian Wigdahl. During this time, I examined the molecular mechanisms involved in HIV-associated dementia. My focus was the interaction of the cellular protein C/EBP and viral protein R, Vpr, with the HIV long terminal repeat (LTR) and the effect of sequence variation on this interaction. The HIV LTR drives the expression for the entire viral sequence and changes in its interaction may alter replication and disease progression.

For my postdoctoral fellowship, I joined the laboratory of Dr. Howard Fox at the Scripps Research Institute and focused on immune regulation and induction of osteopontin in macrophages and their contribution to neurological disease. One of my main foci was the examination of the mechanisms of monocyte accumulation in the brain during neuroAIDS. This work was critical because monocytes are a major target of the HIV and SIV and also serve as carriers of virus into the brain, where they help maintain viral persistence. We have shown that osteopontin prevents monocyte recirculation and apoptosis and is highly increased in HIV-associated dementia.

My current research focus at Boston College uses these experiences, and I will continue utilizing the non-human primate model of neuroAIDS to examine the role of monocyte/macrophages as viral reservoirs, and the effect of drug therapies in clearing anatomic and histologic reservoirs. In addition, I am beginning to develop an animal model of HIV associated peripheral neuropathy to study the relative roles of virus and activated resident and circulating macrophages in producing dorsal root ganglion cell damage and/or damage to the long sensory tracts in the spinal cord.

Current Funding

9-30-2012 to 6-30-2017        NIH Research Project Grant Program (R01) NINDS R01 NS082116
                                          "Monocyte/macrophage traffic and peripheral nerve pathogenesis"
                                           total 5 years $1,978,284
                                           Dr. Tricia Burdo, PI

1-1-2014 to 5-31-2016            Boston College's University's Institute on Aging
                                            Aging Research Incentive Grant (ARIG)
                                            "Immune Biomarkers of HIV and Aging"
                                            total 3 years $57,236
                                            Dr. Tricia Burdo, PI


Nowlin BT, Burdo TH, Midkiff CC, Salemi M, Alvarez X, Williams KC. SIV Encephalitis Lesions Are Composed of CD163+ Macrophages Present in the Central Nervous System during Early SIV Infection and SIV-Positive Macrophages Recruited Terminally with AIDS. Am J Pathol. 2015 May 5. pii: S0002-9440(15)00187-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.01.033. [Epub ahead of print]

Jessica R. Lakritz, Ayman Bodair, Neal Shah, Ryan O’Donnell, Michael J. Polydefkis, Andrew D. Miller, and Tricia H. Burdo*. Monocyte traffic, dorsal root ganglion histopathology, and loss of intraepidermal nerve fiber density (IENFD) in SIV peripheral neuropathy, American Journal of Pathology, 2015 May 5. pii: S0002-9440(15)00196-0. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.03.007. [Epub ahead of print]

Caroline Soulas, Patrick J. Autissier, Tricia H. Burdo, Michael Piatak Jr, Jeffrey D. Lifson, and Kenneth C. Williams. Distinct Phenotype, Longitudinal Changes of Numbers and Cell-associated Virus in Blood Dendritic Cells in SIV-Infected CD8- lymphocyte Depleted Macaques. PLos ONE, 2015 April 27;10(4):e0119764.

Janet Lo, Eric S. Rosenberg, Michael L. Fitzgerald, Suzanne Bazner, Ezinne J. Ihenachor, Alison Keenan, Victoria Hawxhurst, Jeffrey Wei, Tricia Burdo, Kenneth Williams, Mason W. Freeman, Steven K. Grinspoon, HDL-mediated Cholesterol Efflux Capacity is Improved by Treatment with Antiretroviral Therapy in Acute HIV-1 Infection, Open Forum Infect Dis. 2014 Dec 16;1(3):ofu108.

Jennifer H. Campbell, Eva-Maria Ratai, Patrick Autissier, Andrew G. MacLean, Nicole A. Renner, David J. Nolan, Samantha Tse, Andrew D. Miller, R. Gonzalez, Marco Salemi, Tricia H. Burdo, Kenneth Williams. Anti-α4 Antibody Treatment Suppresses Virus Traffic to the Brain and Gut Early, and Stabilizes CNS Injury Late in Infection. PLos Pathogens, 2014 Dec 11;10(12):e1004533. 

Samantha L Strickland, Brittany D Rife, Susanna L Lamers, David J Nolan, Nazle MC Veras, Mattia CF Prosperi, Tricia H Burdo, Patrick Autissier, Brian Nowlin, Maureen M Goodenow, Marc A Suchard, Kenneth C Williams and Marco Salemi, Spatiotemporal Dynamics of SIV Brain Infection in CD8+ Lymphocyte-Depleted Rhesus Macaques with NeuroAIDS, Journal of General Virology 2014 Dec; 95 (Pt 12):2784-95.

Suman Srinivasa, Kathleen V. Fitch, Eva Petrow, Tricia H. Burdo, Kenneth C. Williams, Janet Lo, Hélène C.F. Cote and Steven K. Grinspoon. Soluble CD163 is Associated with Shortened Telomere Length in HIV-infected Patients, J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2014 Dec 1;67(4):414-8. 

Joshua A. Walker, Megan L. Sulciner, Katherine D. Misgen, Andrew D. Miller, Tricia H. Burdo, Kenneth C. Williams, Elevated Numbers of CD163+ Macrophages in Hearts of SIV Infected Monkeys Correlates with Cardiac Pathology and Fibrosis, AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2014 Jul;30(7):685-94.

Tricia H. Burdo* and Andrew D. Miller, Animal Models of HIV Peripheral Neuropathy, Future Virology, May 2014, Vol. 9, No. 5, Pages 465-474 *corresponding author