Dr. Pandrea studied medicine at the “Gr. T. Popa” University of Iasi, Romania. She then became an anatomic pathologist and pursued a PhD in pathology. Dr. Pandrea’s research is aimed at deciphering the sources of chronic immune activation and inflammation in treated and untreated SIV/HIV infections and understanding the relationship between chronic inflammation, hypercoagulation and development of multiple comorbidities associated with SIV/HIV infections. Using multiple nonhuman primate models of AIDS with different clinical outcomes developed in her lab, Dr. Pandrea is studying the correlates of immune protection or the determinants of disease progression. The main focus is on understanding why, despite experiencing a very active SIV infection, the African nonhuman primates which are natural hosts of SIVs generally do not progress to AIDS and how these species are able to maintain normal levels of immune activation and maintain a healthy gut in face of SIV infection. Dr. Pandrea’s lab performed multiple interventions to modulate the permeability of the mucosal barrier and to alter the hypercoagulable state associated SIV infection with the goal of reducing the incidence of HIV/SIV co-morbidities. Her final goal is to identify new immunotherapeutic strategies that, combined with antiretrovirals, may ultimately transform HIV-1 infection into a nonprogressive infection with an incubation period that exceeds the human lifespan, similar to SIV infection in natural hosts.
Ivona Pandrea, MD, PhD