Print This Page
Share this page: More

Paula M. Pitha-Rowe

Paula M. Pitha-Rowe

Department Affiliation: Primary: Oncology; Secondary: Molecular Biology and Genetics, Biology (Homewood)
Rank: Professor
Degree: Ph.D., Prague
Telephone Number: 410-516-6954
Fax Number: 410-955-0840
Email Address:
School of Medicine Address: Room 137, Mudd Hall, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore,
MD  21218 

Antiviral response to infectious pathogenes; toll-like receptors; role of the family of IRF-factors; HIV-1 , IRF and IFN receptor null mice-response to viral infection; oncogenesis.

I have been working in the field of the innate immune response for most of my life, with recent focus on the transcription factors of IRF family.  We were the first to identify and clone IRF-3 and have shown the role of IRF-3 and IRF-7 in the interferon induction.  We were also the first laboratory which cloned and fuctionally characterized IRF-5 both in vitro and in vivo and have shown its role in the induction of inflammatory and antiviral cytokines as well as in apoptosis.  Recently we have generated IRF-5 null mice and have shown that these mice cannot generate effective antiviral and anti-inflammatory response to viral infection, as well as demonstrated that IRF-5 plays a critical role in the TH-1 mediated response to Leishmania infection.  We have also demonstrated that IRF-5 plays a critical role in B cells differentiation and in the response to T cells dependent and T cells independed immunie response, with the major effect in IgG2a response.  These data indicate that IRF-5 may be one of the mediators of a cross talk between innate and adaptive immune responses.  Most importantly, the data on the analysis of IRF-5 function are of clinical importance, since distinct genetic variations in IRF-5 gene were shown to be associated with many autoimmune diseases including lupus.

Representative Publications:

  • Paun, A., Pitha, P.M. The innate antiviral response: new insight into a continuing story.  Adv. Virus Res. 69:1-66, 2007.  Pub Med Reference

  • Paun, A., Pitha, P.M.  The IRF family, revisited.  Biochimie. 89(6-7):744-753, 2007.  Pub Med Reference

  • Paun, A., Reinert, J., Jiang, Z., Medin, C., Balkhi, M., Fitzgerald, K., Pitha, P.M. Functional characterization of murine interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF-5) and its role in the innate antiviral response.  J. Biol. Chem. 283:14295-308, 2008.  Pub Med Reference

  • Balkhi, M.Y., Fitzgerald, K.A., Pitha, P.M.  Functional regulation of MyD88-activated interferon regulatory factor 5 by K63-linked polyubiquitination. Mol. Cell. Biol.  28:7296-308, 2008.  Pub Med Reference

  • Balkhi, M.Y., Fitzgerald, K.A., Pitha, P.M.  IKKalpha negatively regulates IRF-5 function in MyD88-TRAF6 pathway.  Cell. Signal. 22(1):117-27, 2010.  Pub Med Reference

  • Lien, C., Fang, M.-C., Huso, D., Livak, F., Lu, R., Pitha, P.M.  Critical role of IRF-5 in regulation of B-cell differentiation.  PNAS 107:4664-68, 2010.  Pub Med Reference
  • Paun, A., Bankoit, R., Joshi, T., Pitha, P.M., Stäger, S. Critical role of IRF-5 in the development of T helper 1 responses to Leishmania donovani infection.  PLoS Pathog. 7(1):e1001246, 2011.  Pub Med Reference

Other graduate programs in which Dr. Pitha-Rowe participates:

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Graduate Program