Rhonda Brand, PhD
Associate Professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, and Department of Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
As Benjamin Franklin stated, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. As a laboratory-based scientist, my dream is to have my research make a meaningful impact in patient care. With a research focus in the immunology of the GI tract, my laboratory seeks to translate discoveries in prevention of AIDS, IBD and GI cancers into clinic care.
Rhonda Brand, PhD
Research in Brief
Dr Brand’s Gastrointestinal Mucosal Laboratory focuses on three main areas of research: (1) the preclinical and clinical evaluation of novel agents for HIV prevention including rectal microbicides, long acting antiretroviral injectables and implants, (2) the development of ex vivo assays to screen anti-inflammatory properties of novel agents being developed for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and (3) development of approaches for the prevention of gastrointestinal malignancies.
To address this research focus, we perform preclinical studies and clinical trials involving the collection and processing of gastrointestinal or genital tract samples and evaluate efficacy using mucosal flow cytometry, explant biology, ex vivo / in vitro explant HIV or immunogenic challenges, inflammatory biomarker profiling, qRT-PCR and digital droplet PCR for gene expression. We are highly collaborative, providing advice and support on study design, implementation and assays.
- Brand, RM, Biswas N., Siegel A., Myerski A., Metter E.J., Engstrom J, Metter E.J, Brand R.E, Cranston R.D., McGowan I. Immunological Responsiveness of Intestinal Tissue Explants and Mucosal Mononuclear Cells to Ex Vivo Stimulation. Journal of Immunological Methods. Sep 12. pii: S0022-1759(18)30189-3 2018.
- Brand RM, Siegel A., Myerski A., Metter E.J., Engstrom J., Brand R.E,. Squiquera L., Hodge T., Sulley J., Cranston R.D., McGowan I. Ranpirnase Reduces HIV-1 Infection and Associated Inflammatory Changes in a Human Colorectal Explant Model. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2018 Jun 25. doi: 10.1089/AID.2017.0308. PMID: 29936861
- Cranston RD, Baker JR, Siegel A, Brand RM, Janocko L, and McGowan I. A Pilot Study of the Immunological, Virological, and Pathological Consequences of Intra-Anal 5% Imiquimod in HIV-1-infected Men with High-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions. Dis Colon Rectum 2018 Mar;61(3):298-305.PMID: 29360679.
- McGowan I., Wilkin T., Landovitz RJ., Wu C., Chen Y., Marzinke M.A., Hendrix C.W., Richardson P., Eshelman S.H., Andrade A., Chege W., Anderson P.L., McCauley M., Farley J., Mayer K.H., Anton P., Brand R.M., Cranston R.D., Gulick R. The Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, and Mucosal Responses to Maraviroc-Containing PrEP Regimens in Men who have Sex with Men. AIDS 2018. Accepted
- Chiu WK, Brand RM, Camp D, Edick S, Mitchell C, Karas S, Zehmisch A, Ho K, Brand RE, Harrison J, Abo S, Cranston RD and McGowan I. The Safety of Multiple Flexible Sigmoidoscopies with Mucosal Biopsies in Healthy Clinical Trial Participants. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 33(8):820-826, 2017. PMID: 28296471
- McGowan I, Dezzutti CS, Siegel A, Engstrom J, Nikiforov A, Duffill K, Shetler C, Richardson-Harman N, Abebe K, Back D, Else L, Egan D, Khoo S, Egan JE, Stall R, Williams PE, Rehman KK, Adler A, Brand RM, Chen B, Achilles S, Cranston RD. Long-acting rilpivirine as potential pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV-1 prevention (the MWRI-01 study): an open-label, phase 1, compartmental, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic assessment. Lancet HIV. 3(12):e569-e578, 2016. PMID: 27658864
- McGowan I, Cranston RD, Mayer KH, Febo I, Duffill K, Siegel A, Engstrom JC, Nikiforov A, Park SY, Brand RM, Jacobson C, Giguere R, Dolezal C, Frasca T, Leu CS, Schwartz JL, Carballo-Diéguez A. Project Gel a Randomized Rectal Microbicide Safety and Acceptability Study in Young Men and Transgender Women. PLoS One Jun 30;11(6):e0158310, 2016. PMID: 27362788.
- Janocko L., Althouse A.D., Brand RM, Cranston R.D., McGowan I. The molecular characterization of intestinal explant HIV infection using PCR-based techniques. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses, 31(10):981-91, 2015. PMID: 26214703.
For additional publications, visit Pubmed.