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Kelly A. Metcalf Pate, DVM, PhD, DACLAM

Assistant ProfessorKelly Metcalf Pate

733 N. Broadway, MRB 853
Baltimore, MD 21205

410-955-9770 – Phone
443-287-2954 – Fax – E-mail


  • B.A., Boston University, University Professors Program, Trustee Scholars Program
  • D.V.M., Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Diplomate, American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine

Research Focus

Dr. Metcalf Pate’s research focuses on the role of platelets in the innate immune response to viral infection, and how modulating the response of platelets to infection alters the course of disease. Platelets are tiny anuclear cells that outnumber leukocytes in the peripheral blood more than one hundred to one. Platelets are known to participate in innate immunity through cytokine signaling and direct interactions with other cells, and the platelet has the potential to significantly influence disease outcomes. However, platelet immunology is still a relatively new discipline, and the downstream effects of platelet interactions with other immune cells have yet to be determined in the context of viral infection.

The well-characterized and consistent SIV-infected pigtailed macaque model of HIV infection provides an ideal animal model in which to explore the consequences of platelet-leukocyte aggregates during acute infection. Dr. Metcalf Pate has demonstrated that 80% of CD16+ monocytes are bound to platelets during acute SIV infection, while only 6% of this population are bound in mock-inoculated controls. CD16+ monocytes are known to play important roles in the pathogenesis of SIV infection as they are infected more frequently than CD16- monocytes and transmigrate through endothelium early in infection to establish inflammatory foci in organs such as the brain and lungs. Current research aims include further characterization of the platelet-monocyte interaction during acute viral infection with the goal of establishing methods of pharmacologically manipulating this association, and establishing how platelet binding to a monocyte influences the monocyte’s susceptibility to lentiviral infection and the monocyte’s interactions with endothelium.

Dr. Metcalf Pate is additionally interested in the effect of physiologic stress on platelet function, specifically on the platelet’s future immune response to infection, and in the development and optimization of novel in vitro systems that better model in vivo conditions. She welcomes collaborative inquiries from researchers with complementary interests.

Current Funded Projects

  • “The Role of Platelet-Monocyte Interactions in SIV Infection”, NIH OD K01 OD018244, in collaboration with Dr. Chris Zink, Dr. Janice Clements, Dr. Lucio Gama and Dr. Wilbur Lam
  • “A Mouse Model of the Role of Platelets in the Establishment of Latent Viral Reservoirs”, The Johns Hopkins NIMH Center for Novel Therapeutics for HIV-Associated Cognitive Disorders, in collaboration with Dr. Ravit Boger
  • “Effect of Changes in Housing Environment on Platelet Activation in Macaques”, GLAS Foundation, in collaboration with Dr. Ken Witwer and Dr. Bob Adams

Awards and Recognition

  • Dr. Metcalf Pate’s work was featured in a July 2013 Journal of Infectious Diseases Editorial.
  • Speaker, 2013 Gordon Seminar on Cell Biology of Megakaryocytes and Platelets
  • Young Investigator Travel Award, 2012 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections
  • Poster Award, 2012 Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology Year in Review, Johns Hopkins University

Current Students and Visiting Scholars

  • Jian (John) Li, MD, Visiting Scientist, PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China – John is interested in mechanisms underlying platelet activation and functional abnormalities in the context of anti-retroviral therapy.
  • Meghan Vermillion, DVM, Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine - Meghan’s work focuses on the effect of social stress on platelet function in pigtailed macaques.
  • Hayley Weidenbenner, Undergraduate Researcher, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Current Research Staff

  • Kevin Najarro, Research Technologist
  • Liz Engle, Research Specialist

Former Students and Staff

  • Claire Lyons, Undergraduate Researcher 2012 – 2013, Research Technologist 2013 - 2014, currently a veterinary student at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Catherine Cryer, Summer Veterinary Student Researcher 2014, currently a veterinary student at University of Pennsylvannia School of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Hannah Schneider, Summer Undergraduate Researcher 2013, currently an undergraduate at Colorado State University.

Teaching and Service

Dr. Metcalf Pate is a veterinarian with Research Animal Resources, acts as an advisor within the Laboratory Animal Medicine training program and is a member of the Internal Advisory Committee for the T32 Postdoctoral Research Training Program for Veterinarians.

She provides instruction in the following Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine courses:

  • LAM/PATH Integrated Problem Solving (ME680.702), Director and Lecturer
  • Regulations that Govern Animal Research (ME:680.713), Director and Discussion Leader
  • The Human Body (ME800.702), Lecturer
  • Introduction to Research Ethics (School of Medicine Graduate Student Affairs), Lecturer
  • Mouse Pathobiology and Phenotyping Course (ME680:712), Laboratory Instructor
  • Clinical Conference in Laboratory Animal Medicine (ME680:710), Mentor

Outside Hopkins

Dr. Metcalf Pate volunteers to coordinate food and beverage services for the Pan Mass Challenge start site in Sturbridge, MA every August.

Research Opportunities

Dr. Metcalf Pate enjoys sharing the excitement of scientific discovery with others! Local undergraduate and veterinary students with an interest in Dr. Metcalf Pate’s research are encouraged to inquire about available projects and research opportunities.


The Retrovirus Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Metcalf Pate’s Google Scholar Page

Dr. Metcalf Pate’s LinkedIn Page

The Metcalf Pate Lab Weebly Blog



Biomedical Research:

Clinical Research: