Ivona Vasile-Pandrea, MD, PhD

Professor of Pathology, Division of Experimental Pathology

Dr. Pandrea is a member of Division of Experimental Pathology and the Cellular and Molecular Pathology Graduate Training Program.


Board Certified Pathology 1997


Pathology, Immunology, Virology

Education & Training
MD - 1992, Grigore T. Popa School of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iași, Romania, 1992
PhD - 1999, Grigore T. Popa School of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iași, Romania, 1999
1995 - 1996 - "Tempus" Fellowship, University Paris-Sud, France
1996 - 1998 - Fellowship from the Association pour la Recherche contre le Cancer
2002 - Young Scientist Travel Grant offered by NIH for attending the XIV International AIDS Conference Barcelona, Spain, July 7-12, 2002
2003 - International Award offered by 2nd IAS Conference of HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment
2005 - Promise in Research, Tulane University Award
2005 - Leadership in Research, Tulane University Award
2006 - TUHSC Auxiliary Research Career Development Award
2007 - Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus Women of Excellence Awards nominee (category Education & Research)
Research Interests

Research in Dr. Pandrea's lab is aimed to understand why, despite their high prevalence of SIV infection, the African nonhuman primates generally do not progress to AIDS. We are particularly interested to understand how these nonhuman primate species are able to maintain normal levels of immune activation during SIV infection. We believe that, despite high viral replication, the low levels of immune activation and apoptosis allow mucosal CD4 T cell recovery and therefore nonprogression to AIDS in the natural hosts. Our major research directions are therefore aimed to:

  • study of the correlations between the low levels of CCR5 expression on the mucosal CD4+ T cells and the low levels of immune activation and mucosal SIV transmission (particularly through breast-feeding) in the natural hosts
  • test therapies aimed to reduce number of target cells and levels of immune activation at mucosal sites with the goal of reducing mucosal SIV transmission
  • understand the role of the interaction between dendritic cells and T regulatory cells in maintaining low levels of immune activation in the nonprogressive hosts
  • investigate how microbial translocation impact immune activation and HIV/SIV co-morbidities such as cardiovascular disease in progressive hosts
  • test new avenues to prevent the intestinal barrier damage or the damage induced by the proinflammatory cytokines released during the HIV infection with the aim to reduce the incidence of HIV/SIV co-morbidities.

Our final goal is to identify new immunotherapeutic strategies that, in association to antiretroviral drugs, may ultimately transform HIV-1 infection into a nonprogressive infection with an incubation period that exceeds the human lifespan, similar to SIV infection in natural hosts.

NIH Research

View Dr. Vasile-Pandrea's NIH RePORT on nih.gov.

Representative Publications

View Dr. Vasile-Pandrea's publications on PubMed.

  • Paiardini M, Pandrea I, Apetrei C, and Silvestri G. Lessons learned from the natural hosts of HIV-related viruses. Annu Rev Med. 2009: 60: 485-495.
  • Souquière S, Onanga R, Makuwa M, Pandrea I, Ngari P, Rouquet P, Bourry O, Kazanji M, Apetrei C, Simon F, & Roques P. SIVmnd-1 and SIVmnd-2 have different pathogenic potentials in rhesus macaques upon experimental cross-species transmission. J Gen Virol, 2009; 90: 488-499.
  • Pandrea I, Silvestri G, and Apetrei C. AIDS in African nonhuman primate hosts of SIVs: A new paradigm of SIV infection. Curr HIV Res 2009, 6: 57-72.
  • Gaufin T, Gautam R, Kasheta M, Ribeiro R, Ribka E, Barnes M, Pattison M, Tatum C, Monjure C, Montefiori D, Kaur A, Pandrea I, & Apetrei C. Limited ability of humoral immune responses in control of viremia during infection with SIVsmmD215 strain. Blood, 2009; 113: 4250-4261.
  • Gautam R, Gaufin T, Gautam A, Butler I, Barnes M, Mandell D, Pattison M, MacFarland J, Monjure C, Tatum C, Pandrea I, and Apetrei C. SIVrcm, a unique CCR2-tropic virus, selectively depletes effector memory CD4+ T-cells in pigtailed macaques through rapid co-receptor expansion in vivo. J Virol, 2009; 83: 7894-7908.
  • Sodora DL*, Allan JS*, Apetrei C*, Brenchley JM*, Douek DC*, Else JG*, Estes JD*, Hahn BH*, Hirsch VM*, Kaur A*, Kirchhoff F*, Muller-Trutwin M*, Pandrea I*, Schmitz JE*, Silvestri G*. Towards an AIDS vaccine: Lessons from natural SIV infections of African nonhuman primate hosts. Nat Med 2009; 15: 861-865. (* all authors contributed equally to this manuscript)
  • Beaumier CM, Harris LD, Goldstein S, Klatt NR, Whitted S, McGinty J, Apetrei C, Pandrea I, Hirsch VM, Benchley JM. Down regulation of CD4 by memory CD4+ T cells in vivo renders African green monkeys resistant to progressive SIVagm infection. Nat Med 2009, 15; 879-885.
  • Gaufin T, Pattison M, Gautam R, Stoulig C, Dufour J, MacFarland J, Mandell D, Tatum C, Marx MH, Ribeiro RM, Montefiori D, Apetrei C, & Pandrea I*. Effect of B cell depletion on viral replication and clinical outcome of SIV infection in a natural host. J Virol, 2009: 83: 10347-10357.
  • Favre D, Lederer S, Kanwar B, Ma Z-M, Proll S, Proll S, Kasakowi Z, Mold J, Swainson L, Barbours JD, Baskin CR, Palermo R, Pandrea I, Miller CJ, Katze GK, & McCune JM. Critical loss of the balance between Th17 and T regulatory cell populations in pathogenic SIV infection. PLoS Pathog 2009: 5: e1000295.
  • Klatt NR, Shudo E, Ortiz AM, Engram JC, Paiardini M, Lawson B, Miller MD, Else J, Pandrea I, Estes JD, Apetrei C, Schmitz JE, Ribeiro RM, Perelson AS, & Silvestri G. CD8+ lymphocytes control viral replication in SIVmac239-infected rhesus macaques without decreasing the lifespan of productively infected cells. Plos Pathogens, 2010; 6: e1000747.
  • Pandrea I, & Apetrei C. Where the wild things are: Pathogenesis of SIV infection in African nonhuman primate hosts. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep, 2010: 7: 28-36.
  • Pandrea I, Amedee A, Bagby G & Nelson S: Alcohol's role in HIV transmission and disease progression. Alcohol Research & Health 2010; 33:203-218.
  • Apetrei C, Gaufin T, Gautam R, Vinton C, Hirsch VM, Lewis M, Brenchley JM, & Pandrea I: Pattern of SIVagm infection in patas monkeys suggests that host adaptation to SIV infection may result in resistance to infection and virus extinction. J Infect Dis; 2010; 201:S371-S376.
  • Harris LD, Tabb B, Sodora DL, Paiardini M, Klatt NR, Douek DC, Silvestri G, Muller-Trutwin M, Pandrea I, Apetrei C, Hirsch VM, Lifson J, Brenchley JM, & Estes JD: Downregulation of robust acute type I IFN responses distinguishes nonpathogenic SIV infection of natural hosts from pathogenic SIV infection of rhesus macaques. J Virol 2010; 84: 7886-7891.
  • Gaufin T, Ribeiro RM, Gautam R, Dufour J, Mandell D, Apetrei C, Pandrea I*. Experimental depletion of CD8+ cells in acutely SIVagm-Infected African green monkeys results in increased viral replication. Retrovirology; 2010; 7: 42.
  • Gnanadurai CW*, Pandrea I*, Parrish NF, Kraus MH, Learn GH, Salazar MG, Gautam R, Apetrei C, Hahn BH, & Kirchhoff F: Genetic identity and biological phenotype of a transmitted/founder virus representative of non-pathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus infection in African green monkeys. J Virol 2010; 84: 12245-12254. (* equally contributed to this manuscript).
  • Vinton C, Klatt NR, Harris LD, Briant JA, Sanders-Beer BE, Herbert R, Woodward R, Silvestri G, Pandrea I, Apetrei C, Hirsch VM, & Brenchley JM: Maintenance of CD4-like immunological function by CD4neg T cells in multiple natural hosts for SIV. J Virol 2011; 85: 8702-8708.
  • Paiardini M, Cervasi B, Reyes-Aviles E, Micci L, Ortiz AM, Chahroudi A, Vinton C, Gordon SN, Bosinger SE, Francella N, Hallberg PL, Schlub T, Chan ML, Riddick NE, Collman RG, Apetrei C, Pandrea I, Else J, Munch J, Kirchhoff F, Davenport MP, Brenchley JM, Silvestri G: Reduced CCR5 up-regulation upon activation limits virus replication in central-memory CD4+ T cells of SIV-infected sooty mangabeys. Nature Medicine 2011, 17: 830-836.
  • Pandrea I*, Gaufin T, Gautam R, Kristoff J, Mandell D, Montefiori DL, Keele BF, Ribeiro RM, Veazey RS & Apetrei C: Functional cure of SIVagm in rhesus macaques results in complete recovery CD4+ T cells and is reverted by CD8+ cell depletion. Plos Pathogens, 2011; 7: e1002170. Comment in Nature Medicine: Modeling the elite. Nat Medicine 2011; 17: 1058.
  • Apetrei C, Sumpter B, Souquiere S, Chahroudi A, Makuwa M, Reed P, Pandrea I, Roques P, & Silvestri G: Different impact of SIVmnd-1 and SIVmnd-2 on CD4+ T cells of infected mandrills despite of similar levels of virus replication, immune activation and apoptosis. J Virol 2011; 85: 13077-13087.
  • Pandrea I, Parrish NF, Raehtz K, Gaufin T, Barbian HJ, Ma D, Kristoff J, Gautam R, Zhong F, Haret-Richter GS, Trichel A, Shaw GM, Hahn BH, & Apetrei C: Mucosal SIV transmission in African green monkeys: Susceptibility to infection is proportional to target cell availability at mucosal sites. J Virol, 2012; 86: 4158-4168. Spotlight in J. Virol 2012; 86 (8): 4045.
  • Pandrea I*, Cornell E, Wilson C, Ribeiro R, Ma D, Kristoff J, Xu C, Haret-Richter GS, Trichel A, Apetrei C, Landay A, & Tracy R: Coagulation biomarkers predict disease progression in SIV-infected nonhuman primates. Blood 2012; 120: in press.