Andrea Kirmaier

Research Assistant Professor

Ph.D: Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany

Research focus:
Animals harbor viruses with the potential of being transmitted to humans. HIV, SARS coronavirus, Ebola virus, Zika virus and MERS coronavirus all originated in animal reservoirs. Humanity’s ever-increasing reach into almost all ecological niches, combined with the high density of the human population results in a high likelihood of additional zoonotic transmissions of viruses. Yet, our understanding of the actual process of adaptation to new host species, like humans, is very limited. In many cases, we only become aware of such viruses after they have already spread in humans (or other animals) for years or even decades. I use retroviruses, including simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and simian foamy virus (SFV), to study the process of viral emergence. The questions of how a virus has to change to function well in a novel host species, as well as host immune factors limiting the spread of viruses transmitted from other species are the main focus of my research, and I use molecular as well as evolutionary analyses to gain a better understanding of viral cross-species transmission.

2016: Wu F, Kirmaier A, White E, Ourmanov I, Whitted S, Matsude K, Riddick N, Hall LR, Morgen JS, Plishka RJ, Buckler-White A, Johnson WE, HirschVM. TRIM5 Resistance Escape Mutations in Capsid are Transferable between Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Strains. Accepted at Journal of Virology. doi:10.1128/JVI.01620-16

2016: McCarthy KR, Johnson WE, Kirmaier A. Phylogeny and History of the Lost SIV from Crab-Eating Macaques: SIVmfa. PLoS ONE 11(7); doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0159281

2015: Land AM, Wang J, Aberle R, Kirmaier A, Krupp A, Johnson WE, Harris R. Degradation of the Cancer Genomic DNA Deaminase APOBEC3B by SIV Vif. Oncotarget 6(37); doi:10.18632/oncotarget.5483

2015: McCarthy KR, Kirmaier A, Autissier P, Johnson WE. Evolutionary and Functional Analysis of Old World Primate TRIM5 Reveals the Ancient Emergence of Primate Lentiviruses and Convergent Evolution Targeting a Conserved Capsid Interface. PLoS Pathog 11(8); doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1005085

2014: Kirmaier A and Johnson WE. Monkey-adapted HIV-1 Highlights in-vivo Significance of Restriction Factors. Trends Microbiol 22(9); doi:10.1016/j.tim.2014.07.006

2014: Kirmaier A, Krupp A, Johnson WE. Understanding Restriction Factors and Intrinsic Immunity: Insights and Lessons from Primate Lentiviruses. Future Virol 9(5); doi:10.2217/FVL.14.25

2013: Wu F, Kirmaier A, Goeken R, Ourmanov I, Hall L, Morgan JS, Matsuda K, Buckler- White A, Tomioka K, Plishka R, Whitted S, Johnson W, Hirsch VM. TRIM5alpha drives SIVsm evolution in rhesus macaques. PLoS Pathog 9(8); doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003577

2013: McCarthy KR, Schmidt AG, Kirmaier A, Wyand AL, Newman RM, Johnson WE. Gain- of-Sensitivity Mutations in a Trim5-Resistant Primary Isolate of Pathogenic SIV Identify Two Independent Conserved Determinants of Trim5alpha Specificity. PLoS Pathog 9(5); doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003352

2010: Kirmaier A, Wu F, Newman RM, Hall LR, Morgan JS, O’Connor S, Marx PA, Meythaler M, Goldstein S, Buckler-White A, Kaur A, Hirsch VM, Johnson WE. TRIM5 suppresses cross-species transmission of a primate immunodeficiency virus and selects for emergence of resistant variants in the new species. PLoS Biol 8(8); doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000462

2009: Kirmaier A, Diehl WE, Johnson WE. Acquisition and processing of nonhuman primate samples for genetic and phylogenetic analyses. Methods 49(1); doi:10.1016/j.ymeth.2009.05.015

2008: Newman RM, Hall L, Kirmaier A, Pozzi L-A, Pery E, Farzan M, O’Neil S, Johnson WE. Evolution of a TRIM5-CypA Splice Isoform in Old World Monkeys. PLoS Pathog 4(2); doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000003