Charles R. Rinaldo Jr., PhD
Chairman and Professor
Professor, Department of Pathology - School of Medicine
Assistant Director, Clinical Microbiology Laboratory , University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
A419C Crabtree Hall
130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
AB; Syracuse University, 1969
PhD; University of Utah; 1973
Postdoctoral fellow; Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital; 1974-78
Cellular immunity to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV; human herpesvirus 8), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and dengue virus, epidemiology of AIDS, clinical virology
Dr. Rinaldo is Chairman and Professor of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology (IDM) in the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) and Professor of Pathology in the School of Medicine. Dr. Rinaldo has a distinguished background in several areas of basic research and clinical diagnostics, as well as in research administration. He received his Ph.D. in microbiology in 1973 from the University of Utah under the advisorship of Drs. James C. Overall, Jr. and Lowell Glasgow, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in infectious diseases at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, under the mentorship of Dr. Martin S. Hirsch. Dr. Rinaldo was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh in 1978 by Dr. Monto Ho to develop a basic research program in T cell immunity to herpesviruses in IDM and to direct the Clinical Virology Laboratory in the Department of Pathology at the UPMC. He was appointed Chairman of the Department of IDM in 1997.
In 1983, he was successful in establishing a Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) site in Pittsburgh, termed the Pitt Men's Study (PMS), which investigates the natural history of AIDS in over 3,000 homosexual men in Pittsburgh. This accomplishment was based on his forming a team of basic and clinical investigators, as well as integrating the research project into the local gay male community. The MACS currently has published over 900 scientific articles, many of which have had significant impact in the field of AIDS research.
Dr. Rinaldo's research is focused on the relation of disease progression to dendritic cell function and reactivity of CD8 killer T cells to HIV and human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8, or KSHV, the cause of Kaposi's sarcoma). Recent research has expanded to dendritic cell-T cell interactions in emerging virus infections including dengue virus. He also has an active research program in diagnostic virology.
Dr. Rinaldo has mentored over 30 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, many of whom have obtained prestigious positions in academia, government and industry. He has had continuous research grant funding from the NIH since 1979. Notable findings from his research group since the 1970's include:
- mycoplasmas (bacterial-like organisms) induce interferon alpha in leukocytes, which is now thought to be related to innate immunity to such infections;
- human cytomegalovirus infects neutrophils in the blood and can suppress T cell immunity, which is related to how this virus causes severe illness in AIDS patients and organ transplant recipients;
- CD4+ killer T cells are involved in anti-herpesvirus immunity, which was one of the first descriptions of this form of immune response;
- CD8+ killer T cells are important in controlling HIV infection in persons with long term, nonprogressive infection, which has implications for HIV vaccine development;
- dendritic cells are the primary producers of the antiviral molecule interferon alpha, which is now known to be due to a subpopulation of "plasmacytoid" dendritic cells involved in innate and adaptive immunity;
- with a team of Dr. John Mellors and other Pittsburgh MACS investigators, he showed that the amount, or load, of HIV in the blood during early HIV infection can predict the development of disease progression, which has set a worldwide standard of care for HIV infection;
- HIV-infected, dying cells (apoptotic bodies) can serve as a rich source of viral antigens for stimulation of T cell immunity, which is now being used in clinical trials of immunotherapy of chronic HIV infection at the University of Pittsburgh led by Dr. Rinaldo and clinical associates;
- HHV-8 causes an asymptomatic to mildly symptomatic, primary illness in adults that is controlled by killer T cells, which was the first description of a primary clinical illness caused by this cancer virus, without immunosuppression due HIV coinfection or organ transplantation;
- a major cell receptor for HHV-8 is the type II C-type lectin, DC-SIGN, which has implications for how this virus causes cancers, and reveals potential targets for antiviral therapy;
- HIV can enter B cells via DC-SIGN and be transferred to CD4 T cells, which is a new paradigm for HIV pathogenesis with implications for antiviral therapy.
Dr. Rinaldo has been a leader in the fight against the AIDS epidemic for almost 30 years, and has received awards from the Pittsburgh LGBT community and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for his excellence and dedication in AIDS research. He has served nationally on the NIH AIDS Research Advisory Committee and NIH AIDS-related Study Section, many NIH ad hoc advisory committees and study sections, and editorial boards of several scientific journals, and is currently a member of the MACS Executive Committee, and director of an ACTG Immunology Specialty Laboratory. He was honored with a MERIT award from the NIH for support of his HIV research in 2004.
As Assistant Director of the Division of Clinical Microbiology in the Department of Pathology of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Dr. Rinaldo has primary responsibility for the Clinical Virology Laboratory. This includes research and development of new tests that are important for diagnosis of viral infections in organ transplant recipients and other patients, such as the SARS coronavirus, human cytomegalovirus and metapneumovirus.
Selected Recent Publications
Rappocciolo, G., Piazza, P., Fuller, C.L. Reinhart, T.A., Watkins, S.C., Rowe, D.T., Jais, M., Gupta, P., and Rinaldo, C.R., Jr. (2006) DC-SIGN on B lymphocytes is required for transmission of HIV-1 to T lymphocytes. PloS Pathogens 2:e70
Connolly, N.C., Whiteside, T.L., Wilson, C.C., Kondragunta, V., Rinaldo, C.R., and Riddler, S.A. (2008) Therapeutic immunization with HIV-1 peptide-loaded dendritic cells is safe and immunogenic in HIV-1-infected individuals. Clin. Vacc. Immunol. 15:284-292.
Colleton, B.A., Huang, X-L., Melhem, N.M., Fan, Z., Borowski, L., Rappocciolo, G., and Rinaldo, C.R.
(2009) Primary HIV-1 specific CD8+ T cell responses induced by myeloid dendritic cells. J. Virol., 83:6288-99.
Macatangay, B.J.C., Szajnik, M. E. Whiteside, T. L., Riddler, S.A., and Rinaldo, C.R. (2010) Regulatory T cell suppression of Gag-specific CD8+ T-cell polyfunctional response following therapeutic vaccination of HIV-1-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy. PLoS ONE 5:e9852.
Huang, X.L., Fan, Z., Borowski, L., Mailliard, R.B., Rolland, M., Mullins, J.I., Day, R.D., and Rinaldo, C.R. (2010) Dendritic cells reveal a broad range of MHC class I epitopes for HIV-1 in persons with suppressed viral load on antiretroviral therapy. PLoSONE 5:e12936.
Rappocciolo, G., Jenkins, F.J., Hensler, H.R., Piazza, P., Jais, M., Borowski, L., Watkins, S.C., and Rinaldo, C.R., Jr. (2006) DC-SIGN is a receptor for human herpesvirus 8 on dendritic cells and macrophages. J. Immunol. 176:1741-1749.
Rappocciolo, G., Hensler, H.H., Jais, M., Reinhart, T.A., Pegu, A., Jenkins, F.J., and Rinaldo, C.R., Jr. (2008) HHV-8 infects and replicates in primary cultures of B lymphocytes through DC-SIGN. J. Virol. 82:4793-4806.
Lepone, L., Rappocciolo, G., Knowlton, E., Jais, M., Piazza, P., Jenkins, F.J., and Rinaldo, C.R. (2010) Monofunctional and polyfunctional CD8+ T cell responses to human herpesvirus 8 lytic and latency proteins. Clin. Vacc. Immunol. 17:1507-1516.
Fan, Z., Huang, X.L., Kalinski, P., Young, S., and Rinaldo, C.R. Jr. (2007) Dendritic cell function during chronic hepatitis C virus and HIV-1 infection. Clin. Vaccine Immunol. 14:1127-1137.
McMurtrey, C.P., Lelic, A., Piazza, P., Chakrabarti, A.K., Yablonsky, E.J., Wahl, A., Bardet, W., Eckerd, A., Cook, R.L., Hess, R., Buchli, R., Loeb, M., Rinaldo, C.R., Bramson, J., and Hildebrand, W.H. (2008) Epitope discovery in West Nile virus infection: identification and immune recognition of viral epitopes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105:2981-2986.
Piazza P, McMurtrey CP, Lelic A, Cook RL, Hess R, Yablonsky E, Borowski L, Loeb MB, Bramson JL, Hildebrand WH, Rinaldo CR. (2010) Surface phenotype and functionality of WNV specific T cells differ with age and disease severity.PLoS One 5:e15343.
Dare, R., Sanghavi, S., Bullotta, A., Keightley, M.C., St. George, K., Wadowsky, R.M., Paterson, D., McCurry, K.R., Reinhart, T.A., Husain, S., and Rinaldo, C.R. (2007) Detection of human metapneumovirus infection in immunosuppressed lung transplant recipients and children evaluated for pertussis. J. Clin. Microbiol. 45:548-552.
Sanghavi, S.K., Abu-Elmagd, K., Keightley, M.C., St. George, K., Lewandowski, K., Boes, S.E., Bullotta, A., Dare, R., Lassak, M., Husain, S., Kwak, E.J., Paterson, D.L., and Rinaldo, C.R. (2008) Relationship of cytomegalovirus load assessed by real-time PCR to pp65 antigenemia in organ transplant recipients. J Clin Virol. 42:335-342.
Sanghavi, S.K., Bullotta, A., Husain, S., and Rinaldo, C.R. Clinical evaluation of multiplex real time RT-PCR for rapid detection of respiratory viral infections. J. Med. Virol. 84:162-169, 2012.
Dr. Rinaldo's Lab
Research Professors and Postdoctoral Fellows
Fecek, Ron; Post Doctoral Associate,
532 Parran Hall; 412-624-3848; email@example.com
Macatangay, Bernard; Assistant Professor and Assistant Director, ACTG Immunology Specialty Lab; Suite 510 Keystone Building; 412-383-1272; firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailliard, Robbie; Research Assistant Professor
532 Parran Hall; 412-624-3848; email@example.com
Piazza, Paolo; Research Assistant Professor - Immunology Lab
604 Parran Hall; 412-383-9590; firstname.lastname@example.org
Rappocciolo, Giovanna; Research Assistant Professor - HHV-8 Lab
604 Parran Hall; 412-383-9590; email@example.com
Borowski, Luann; Flow Cytometry Specialist/Flow lab supervisor
525/526 Parran Hall; 412-624-0582; firstname.lastname@example.org
Bullotta, Arlene; Lab Tech, UPMC Clinical Virology Lab
A912 PUH; 412-647-3757; email@example.com
Campbell, Diana; Lab Tech, Immunology Lab
529 Parran Hall; 412-648-2940; firstname.lastname@example.org
Fecek, Ron; Post Doctoral Associate,
532 Parran Hall; 412-624-3848; email@example.com
Fialkovich, Eric, Lab Tech, Flow Lab
525/526 Parran Hall; firstname.lastname@example.org
Frost, Emily; Lab Tech, HHV-8 Lab
620 Parran Hall; email@example.com
Gleeson, Blair; Research Technologist
525/526 Parran Hall; firstname.lastname@example.org
Hayes, Jay; Lab Tech, Immunology Lab
523 Parran Hall; email@example.com
Malenka, Judy; Administrative Assistant to the Chairman
A419D Crabtree Hall; 412-624-1637; firstname.lastname@example.org
McQuiston, Susan; Lab Tech, PMS Lab
523 Parran Hall; 412-624-1636; email@example.com
Yates, Aarika, Research Technologist, Flow Lab
525/526 Parran Hall; firstname.lastname@example.org
Zhang, Ping; Lab Tech, Immunology Lab
529 Parran Hall; 412-648-2940; email@example.com
Chiossone, Cory; MPH-PEL Program
530 Parran Hall; firstname.lastname@example.org
Knowlton, Emilee; Doctoral Program
620 Parran Hall; email@example.com
Lepone, Lauren; Doctoral Program
620 Parran Hall; firstname.lastname@example.org
Poston, Taylor; Doctoral Program
530 Parran Hall; email@example.com
Smith, Kellie; Doctoral Program
Parran Hall; firstname.lastname@example.org
Zaccard, Colleen; Doctoral Program
Parran Hall; email@example.com