Zandrea Ambrose, PhD

Zandrea Ambrose, PhD


520 Bridgeside Point 2
450 Technology Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Ph: 412-624-0512

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  • Postdoctoral and Research Fellow, National Cancer Institute
  • PhD, University of Washington
  • BA, Ohio Wesleyan University

Academic Affiliation

Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Associate Professor, Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Graduate School of Public Health

Member, Center for AIDS Elimination (CFAR)

Member, Pittsburgh Center for HIV Protein Interactions (PCHPI)

Member, Graduate Program in Microbiology and Immunology (PMI)

Member, Integrative Systems Biology (ISB) Graduate Program 

About Research

The Ambrose Lab in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine studies antiretroviral therapeutics used for HIV prevention and suppression, including the characterization of new drug targets during early steps of the virus life cycle, and the impact of drug resistance on HIV transmission, prevention, persistence and treatment. To identify potential new therapeutic targets for HIV, we use genetics and imaging assays to investigate host-virus interactions in early infection, including HIV capsid uncoating, reverse transcription and nuclear entry. In addition, our lab studies novel drug candidates and sustained release therapies in vitro and in vivo for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV transmission as well as for antiretroviral treatment (ART) of HIV-infected individuals. We also investigate viral diversity that may lead to the development of HIV drug resistance during PrEP or ART and how it impacts both subsequent or new therapy and the composition of tissue HIV reservoirs. 

Selected Publications

Ning J, Zhong Z, Fischer DK, Harris G, Watkins SC, Ambrose Z, Zhang P. 2018. Truncated CPSF6 forms higher order complexes that bind and disrupt HIV-1 capsid. J Virol. 92: e00368-18. 

Feder AF, Kline C, Polacino P, Cottrell M, Kashuba ADM, Keele BF, Hu SL, Petrov DA, Pennings PS, Ambrose Z. 2017. A spatio-temporal assessment of simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) evolution reveals a highly dynamic process within the host. PLoS Pathog. 13: e1006358. 

Kearney MF, Anderson EM, Coomer C, Smith L, Shao W, Johnson N, Kline C, Spindler J, Mellors JW, Coffin JM, Ambrose Z. 2015. Well-mixed plasma and tissue viral populations in RT-SHIV-infected macaques implies a lack of viral replication in the tissues during antiretroviral therapy. Retrovirology. 12: 93. 

Melody K, McBeth S, Kline C, Kashuba ADM, Mellors JW, Ambrose Z. 2015. Low frequency of drug resistant variants selected by long-acting rilpivirine (RPV LA) in macaques infected with RT-SHIV. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 59: 7762-7770. 

Xu H, Franks T, Gibson G, Huber K, Rahm N, Strambio De Castillia C, Luban J, Aiken C, Watkins S, Sluis-Cremer N, Ambrose Z. 2013. Evidence for bi-phasic uncoating during HIV-1 infection from a novel imaging assay. Retrovirology. 10: 70. 

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