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Charles R. Rinaldo, PhD

Dr. Charles R. Rinaldo


Fax: 412-624-4953
A419C Crabtree Hall
130 DeSoto Street


Fellow, Viral Immunology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

PhD in Microbiology, University of Utah

AB in Bacteriology, Syracuse University

Academic Affiliation(s)

Professor, Department of Pathology

Professor, Graduate School of Public Health, Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology

Director, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Clinical Virology Laboratory

Member, Division of Clinical Microbiology

Member, Molecular Virology and Microbiology Graduate Program


Assistant: Judy Malenka, jmalenka@pitt.edu


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, Dr. Rinaldo established a Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) site in Pittsburgh, termed the Pitt Men's Study (PMS). The MACS Study is conducted by sites located in Baltimore, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, and includes over 7000 men with and without HIV infection. Biological and behavioral data are collected every six months from study participants. Study visits include detailed questions covering HIV-related symptoms and utilization of health services, demographic and psychosocial characteristics, a quality of life survey, a physical examination, a detailed form on medications used as prophylaxis and/or treatment, a neuropsychological screening and examination, blood samples to measure hematologic variables including enumeration of T-cell subsets and HIV viral load, and the allocation of samples to be sent to the National Repository. These specimens are invaluable for helping to understand the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection and the development of disease in HIV-infected people. The MACS currently has published over 1400 scientific articles, many of which have had significant impact in the field of AIDS research.

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.

Dr. Rinaldo's research laboratory focuses on studies of innate and adaptive immunity in the immunopathogenesis of HIV and human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8/KSHV) infections in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). He also directs an Immunology Specialty Laboratory in the AIDS Clinical Trials Group focused on cell immunity, regulation and immune activation in the ACTG HIV Reservoirs and Viral Eradication Transformative Science Group. His HIV research centers on the dynamics of dendritic cell-T cell interactions leading to anti-HIV immune reactivity as a model for immunotherapy of antiretroviral drug-treated HIV-1 infected persons, with the ultimate goal of eradicating their HIV reservoir. His cancer research focuses on controlling HHV-8 cancers by assessing HHV-8 infection of B cells and anti-HHV-8 T cell immunity. Dr. Rinaldo’s clinical specialty is diagnostic virology, with emphasis on molecular methods for rapid detection of virus infections.

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.

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.

Lab Personnel:

Angela Anthony, Research Specialist, Immunology Lab

LuAnn Borowski, Flow Cytometer Specialist/Flow lab supervisor

Arlene Bullotta, Research Specialist, UPMC Clinical Virology Lab

Tatiana Garcia-Bates, PhD, Senior Lab Manager

Kathleen A. Hartle, Research Specialist, Immunology Lab

Jay Hayes, Lab Supervisor, Pitt Men’s Study Lab

Kathleen A. Kulka, Research Specialist, Immunology Lab/Flow Lab

Bernard Macatangay, MD, Assistant Professor and Assistant Director, ACTG Immunology Specialty Lab

Robbie B. Mailliard, PhD, Assistant Professor

Janet L. McLaughlin, Research Specialist, Flow Lab

Susan G. McQuiston, Research Specialist, Pitt Men’s Study Lab

Paolo Piazza, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Immunology Lab

Giovanna Rappocciolo, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Immunology Lab

M. Karina Soares, PhD, Molecular Specialist, UPMC Clinical Virology Lab

Diana Campbell, Doctoral Program

Jan Kristoff, Doctoral Program

Maureen McGowan, Doctoral Program