Center for Vaccine Research

Amy Hartman, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Infectious Disease & Microbiology

Dr. Hartman received her bachelor's degree in Biology from Washington and Jefferson College in 1998. She received her Ph.D. in Molecular Virology from the Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2003. Her graduate thesis was done in the laboratory of Mickey Murphey-Corb, Ph.D. and focused on host factors controlling Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) infection in rhesus macaques.

 

Dr. Hartman then did a post-doctoral fellowship in the Special Pathogens Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA under Stuart Nichol, Ph.D. Her work focused on viral virulence factors contributing to severe disease induced by infection with Ebola Zaire virus. During her time at CDC, Dr. Hartman was a member of the outbreak response team sent to Angola in 2005 during the largest recorded outbreak of Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever.  Dr. Hartman assisted with setup and operation of the molecular diagnostic laboratory, which used Taqman PCR to diagnose patient clinical samples. 

 

Dr. Hartman returned to the University of Pittsburgh in 2007 with a primary faculty appointment in the Department of Infectious Disease and Microbiology (IDM) in the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH).

 

Education & Training

  • 1998 | Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, PA | BA
  • 2003 | University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA | PhD

Representative Publications

  • Bowling, J.D., K.J. O’Malley, W.B. Klimstra, A.L. Hartman, and D.S. Reed. 2019. A vibrating mesh nebulizer as an alternative to the Collison 3-jet nebulizer for infectious disease aerobiology. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 85(17):e00747-19. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00747-19.

  • Albe, J.R., D.A. Boyles, A.W. Walters, M.R. Kujawa, C.M. McMillen, D.S. Reed, and A.L. Hartman. 2019. Neutrophil and macrophage influx into the central nervous system are inflammatory components of lethal Rift Valley Fever encephalitis in rats. PLOS Pathogens. June 20, 2019. 15(6):e1007833. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1007833.

  • Walters, A.W., M.R. Kujawa, J.R. Albe, W.B. Klimstra, and A.L. Hartman. 2019. Vascular permeability in the brain is a late pathogenic event during Rift Valley fever virus encephalitis in rats. Virology 526:173-179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2018.10.021

  • McMillen, C.M., N. Arora, D.A. Boyles, J.R. Albe, M.R. Kujawa, J.F. Bonadio, C.B. Coyne, and A.L. Hartman. 2018. Rift Valley fever virus induces fetal demise through direct placental infection. Science Advances 4(12):eaau9812. December 5, 2018. http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/12/eaau9812.

  • Hartman A.L.. Rift Valley Fever. Clinics in Laboratory Medicine. 2017;37(2):285-301. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cll.2017.01.004.

  • Wonderlich, E.R., A.L. Caroline, C.M. McMillen, A.W. Walters, D.S. Reed, S.M. Barratt-Boyes, and A.L. Hartman. In press. Peripheral blood biomarkers of disease outcome in a monkey model of Rift Valley Fever encephalitis. Journal of Virology Accepted manuscript posted online 8 November 2017 , doi:10.1128/JVI.01662-17.

  • Caroline, A.L., M.R. Kujawa, T. Oury, D.S. Reed, and A.L. Hartman. 2016. Inflammatory biomarkers associated with lethal Rift Valley fever encephalitis in the Lewis rat model. Frontiers in Microbiology-Virology. 6:0509. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2015.01509.

  • Mirza, S.K., T.R. Tragon, M.B. Fukui, M.S. Hartman, and A.L. Hartman. 2015. Microbiology for Radiologists: How to Minimize Infection Transmission in the Radiology Department. RadioGraphics. 45(4). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1148/rg.2015140034. **As of June 2016, 514 CME certificates were generated in connection with this article.
  • Caroline, A.L., D.S. Powell, L.M. Bethel, T.D. Oury, D.S. Reed, and A.L. Hartman. 2014. Broad spectrum antiviral activity of Favipiravir (T-705): Protection from highly lethal inhalational Rift Valley Fever. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 8(4): e2790. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002790
  • Hartman, A.L., Powell, D.S., Bethel, L.M., Caroline, A.L., Schmid, R.J., Oury, T., and Reed, D.S. 2014. Aerosolized Rift Valley Fever virus causes fatal encephalitis in African green monkeys and common marmosets. Journal of Virology 88(4):2235-2245. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02341-13.
  • Powell, D.S., R.C. Walker, D.T. Heflin, D. Fisher, J.B. Kosky, L.C. Homer, D.S. Reed, K.S. Cole, A.M. Trichel, and A.L. Hartman. 2014. Development of novel mechanisms for housing, handling, and remote monitoring of common marmosets at animal biosafety level 3. Pathogens & Disease. DOI: 10.1111/2049-632X.12140. PMID: 24453160.
  • Reed, D.S., Bethel, L.M., Powell, D.S., A.L. Hartman. 2014. Differences in aerosolization of Rift Valley Fever virus resulting from choice of inhalation exposure chamber: implications for animal challenge studies. Pathogens & Disease. DOI:10.1111/2049-632X.12157. PMID:24532259.
  • Bales, J.M., D.S. Powell, L.M. Bethel, D.S. Reed, and A.L. Hartman. Choice of inbred rat strain impacts lethality and disease course after respiratory infection with Rift Valley Fever Virus. 2012. Frontiers in Cellular Infection Microbiology. 2(105):1-14.
  • Hartman AL, Ling L, Nichol ST, Hibberd ML. Whole-genome expression profiling reveals that inhibition of host innate immune response pathways by Ebola virus can be reversed by a single amino acid change in the VP35 protein. J Virol. 2008 Jun;82(11):5348-58. Epub 2008 Mar 19. PMID:18353943
  • Hartman AL, Bird BH, Towner JS, Antoniadou ZA, Zaki SR, Nichol ST. Inhibition of IRF-3 activation by VP35 is critical for the high level of virulence of ebola virus. J Virol. 2008 Mar;82(6):2699-704. Epub 2008 Jan 16. PMID:18199658
  • Bird BH, Albariño CG, Hartman AL, Erickson BR, Ksiazek TG, Nichol ST. Rift valley fever virus lacking the NSs and NSm genes is highly attenuated, confers protective immunity from virulent virus challenge, and allows for differential identification of infected and vaccinated animals. J Virol. 2008 Mar;82(6):2681-91. Epub 2008 Jan 16. PMID:18199647

Research Interests

Dr. Hartman's broad research interests center on understanding the pathogenic mechanisms of RNA viruses, particularly arboviruses (viruses transmitted by insect vectors).  The focus of her research is on arboviruses that have the potential to spread to new locations (emerging viruses), as well as those that have the potential for misuse through bioterrorism.  In addition to understanding the disease-causing mechanisms of these viruses, Dr. Hartman works closely with the Department of Defense to assist in the testing of new treatments and vaccines to protect U.S. military personnel from exposure to virulent viruses.  Current research projects in Dr. Hartman's lab focus on aerosol infection models of Rift Valley Fever virus and the alphaviruses (Eastern, Western, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses).

Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV) is a mosquito-borne virus that causes severe disease in livestock and humans in Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Rift Valley Fever is found endemically in these regions, and rainfall alterations can lead to epizootics in livestock and epidemics in humans. RVFV is easily transmitted when humans handle infected animal carcasses, and this transmission is thought to be by mucosal exposure or direct inhalation of virus particles. Due to its ability to infect by the aerosol route, RVFV is also considered a potential bioterror threat. For these reasons, better vaccines and therapeutics for this globally-important emerging infectious disease are needed.

Rift Valley Fever is included on the World Health Organization's list of prioritized diseases likely to cause major epidemics in the near future, including Rift Valley Fever.  In January of 2016, Science magazine named Rift Valley Fever as one of the top 10 diseases for which a vaccine is urgently needed.

Current research projects in Dr. Hartman's lab focus on the neuropathogenesis of RVFV. Dr. Hartman has established the first well-characterized models of the neurological disease that is seen in some RVFV-infected people. These models are currently being used to understand how the virus causes lethal encephalitis. Dr. Hartman's models have also been used to test novel antiviral drugs, such as Favipiravir (T-705), to determine its broad-spectrum applicability to treat emerging diseases.

Dr. Hartman's lab at the University of Pittsburgh Regional Biocontainment Laboratory has the necessary federal approvals to work at BSL-3, advanced equipment, and trained staff to successfully implement large research grants and contracts aimed at understanding the pathogenesis of infectious diseases.