Amy L Hartman

  • Associate Professor, Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
  • Primary Faculty, Center for Vaccine Research
  • Secondary Faculty, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

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 as the Research Manager of the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory with a primary faculty appointment in the Department of Infectious Disease and Microbiology (IDM) in the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH).


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


Course Director:

IDM2004 - Viral Pathogenesis (fall term)


IDM 2010 - Pathogen Biology (fall term)

IDM 2002 - Molecular Virology (spring term)

IDM 2038 - Prevention, Treatment, and Control of Global Infectious Diseases (spring term)

MSMVM 3440 - Vaccines and Immunity (spring term)

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 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 2018 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 1) the neuropathogenesis of RVFV; 2) mechanisms of vertical transmission of RVFV; 3) design and evaluation of novel therapeutics and vaccines to treat RVF disease, particularly encephalitis. 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 recently published on the potential for vertical transmission of RVFV during pregnancy. 

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.


View our lab website for a full list of opportunities.

Lab Members


  • Cynthia McMillen, PhD (Research Assistant Professor)
  • Stacey Barrick (Project Coordinator)
  • Madeline Schwarz (3rd year PhD student)
  • Rachael Rush (post-doc)
  • Kaleigh Connors (2nd year IDM PhD student)
  • Ryan Hoehl (Research Technician)
  • Jackson McGaughey (Research Technician)
  • Zachary Frey (Undergraduate)

Past Staff:

  • Matt Demers (Research Technician/Lab Manager)
  • Joseph Albe, MPH (Research Technician)
  • Devin Boyles, MS (Research Technician)
  • Michael Kujawa (Research Technician)
  • Jen Symmonds (Veterinary technician)
  • Aaron Walters, MS (Research Technician)
  • Tiffany Thompson, MPH (Research Technician)
  • Amy L. Caroline (Research Technician)
  • Jacquelyn M. Bales (Research Technician)
  • Diana Powell (Veterinary Technician)
  • Laura Bethel (Research Technician)

Past Students:

  1. Zachary Koenig - MS degree awarded April 2020. Thesis: “Type III Interferon Control of Rift Valley Fever Virus Infection at Epithelial Cell Barriers.” Current: PhD student at University of Cincinnati (fall 2020 start)
  2. Devin Boyles - MS degree awarded December 2019. Thesis: “Determining the cellular targets and resulting pathology of Rift Valley Fever virus infection of the rat CNS and reproductive system using microscopy.” Current: Biological Import Specialist, University of Pittsburgh.
  3. Tiffany Thompson - MPH degree awarded June 2017. Essay: "A Literature Review of the Histology of Rift Valley Fever Virus Neurological Disease Comparing Rodent and NHP Models to Human Disease."
  4. Joseph Albe - MPH degree awarded April 2017. Thesis: "Viral encephalitis: phenotyping leukocyte infiltration into the central nervous system as a result of Rift Valley fever virus infection."
  5. Noah Salama - MS degree awarded April 2017. Thesis: "Analysis of peripheral immune responses for the development of an encephalitis non-human primate animal model for new world alphaviruses."
  6. Aaron Walters - MS degree awarded December 2016. Thesis: "The effect of infection route on disease outcome in rats infected with Rift Valley fever virus."
  7. Michael Kujawa - MS degree awarded April 2016.  Thesis: "Understanding the neuropathogenesis of Rift Valley Fever using in vitro and in vivo models."
  8. Jonathan Berback - MPH-PEL degree awarded December 2015.  Thesis: "Antiviral activity of primary human trophoblast conditioned media against Rift Valley Fever virus."
  9. David Jung - MPH-PEL degree awarded December 2015.  Thesis: "Efficacy and Cytotoxicity of Novel Antiviral Compounds Against Rift Valley Fever Virus."
  10. Amy L. Caroline - MS degree awarded April 2013.  Thesis: "Characterization of the humoral immune response in rats and non-human primates exposed to aerosolized virulent Rift Valley Fever virus."


Selected Publications

Full list of publications through My NCBI.
ORCID: 0000-0002-0857-2973
Scopus Author ID: 7102651927
Google Scholar

Most recent listed first:

  • Schwarz, M.S., D.A. Price, S.S. Ganaie, A. Feng, N. Mishra, R.M. Hoehl, S.H. Stubbs, S.P.J. Whelan, X. Cui, T. Egawa, D.W. Leung, G.K. Amarasinghe, andA.L. Hartman. 2022. Oropouche orthobunyavirus infection is mediated by the cellular host factor Lrp1.BioRXIV. Posted 2/27/2022.DOI: 10.1101/2022.02.26.482111. **Accepted at PNAS 6/27/22

  • Ma, H., J.R. Albe, T. Gilliland, C.M. McMillen, C.L. Gardner, D.A. Boyles, E.L. Cottle, M.D. Dunn, J.D. Lundy, N. Salama, K.J. O’Malley, I. Pandrea, T. Teichert, S. Barrick, W.B. Klimstra,A.L. Hartman, and D.S. Reed. 2022. Long-term persistence of viral RNA and inflammation in the CNS of macaques exposed to aerosolized Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus.PLoS Pathogens 18(6): e1009946. PMID: 35696423 DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1009946

  • McMillen, C.M., D.A. Boyles, S.G. Kostadinov, R.M. Hoehl, M.M. Schwarz, J.R. Albe, M. Demers, andA.L. Hartman. 2022. Congenital Rift Valley fever in Sprague Dawley rats is associated with diffuse infection and pathology of the placenta. v.1 posted 2/25/22. BioRXIVDOI: 10.1101/2022.02.25.481831

  • McMillen, C.M., andA.L. Hartman. 2021. Rift Valley fever: a threat to pregnant women hiding in plain sight?Journal of Virology GEM (invited). 95(9):e01394-19. May 2021. PMID: 33597209. .

  • Albe, J.R., H.M. Ma, T.G. Gilliland, C.M. McMillen, C.L. Gardner, D.A. Boyles, E.L. Cottle, M.D. Dunn, J. Lundy, K.J. O’Malley, N. Salama, A.W. Walters, I. Vasile-Pandrea, T. Teichert, W.B. Klimstra, D.S. Reed, andA.L. Hartman. 2021. Physiological and immunological changes in the brain associated with lethal eastern equine encephalitis virus in macaques.PLOS Pathogens. 17(2): e1009308. Published 2/3/21. PMID: 33534855.

  • Boyles, D.A., M.M. Schwarz, J.R. Albe, C.M. McMillen, K.J. O’Malley, D.S.Reed, andA.L. Hartman. 2020. Development of Rift valley fever encephalitis in rats is mediated by early infection of olfactory epithelium and neuroinvasion across the cribiform plate.Journal of General Virology. Accepted 10/30/20. Published online 11/24/20. PMID: 33231535.

  • Barbeau, D.J., J.R. Albe, S. Nambulli, N.L. Tilston-Lunel,A.L. Hartman, S.S. Lakdawala, E. Klein, W.P. Duprex, and A.K. McElroy. 2020. Rift Valley fever virus infection causes acute encephalitis in the ferret.mSphere. 5(5):e00798-20.

  • Munoz-Fontela C, Dowling WE, Funnell SGP, Gsell PS, Riveros-Balta AX, Albrecht RA, Andersen H, Baric RS, Carroll MW, Cavaleri M, Qin C, Crozier I, Dallmeier K, de Waal L, de Wit E, Delang L, Dohm E, Duprex WP, Falzarano D, Finch CL, Frieman MB, Graham BS, Gralinski LE, Guilfoyle K, Haagmans BL, Hamilton GA,Hartman AL, Herfst S, Kaptein SJF, Klimstra WB, Knezevic I, Krause PR, Kuhn JH, Le Grand R, Lewis MG, Liu WC, Maisonnasse P, McElroy AK, Munster V, Oreshkova N, Rasmussen AL, Rocha-Pereira J, Rockx B, Rodríguez E, Rogers TF, Salguero FJ, Schotsaert M, Stittelaar KJ, Thibaut HJ, Tseng CT, Vergara-Alert J, Beer M, Brasel T, Chan JFW, García-Sastre A, Neyts J, Perlman S, Reed DS, Richt JA, Roy CJ, Segalés J, Vasan SS, Henao-Restrepo AM, Barouch DH. 2020. Animal models for COVID-19.Nature. 2020 Oct;586(7830):509-515. Epub 2020 Sep 23. Review. PubMed PMID: 32967005.

  • Hartman AL,Nambulli S, McMillen CM, White AG, Tilston-Lunel NL, Albe JR, Cottle E, Dunn MD, Frye LJ, Gilliland TH, Olsen EL, O’Malley KJ, Schwarz MM, Tomko JA, Walker RC, Xia M, Hartman MS, Klein E, Scanga CS, Flynn JL, Klimstra WB, McElroy AK, Reed DS, and Duprex WP. 2020. SARS-CoV-2 infection of African green monkeys results in mild respiratory disease discernible by PET/CT imaging and shedding of infectious virus from both respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.PLOS Pathogens 2020 Sep;16(9):e1008903. PMID: 32946524.

  • Klimstra WB, Tilston-Lunel NL, Nambulli S, Boslett J, McMillen CM, Gilliland T, Dunn MD, Sun C, Wheeler SE, Wells A,Hartman AL, McElroy AK, Reed DS, Rennick LJ, Duprex WP. 2020. SARS-CoV-2 growth, furin-cleavage-site adaptation and neutralization using serum from acutely infected hospitalized COVID-19 patients.Journal of General Virology. 101(11). .

  • Fears, A.C., W.B. Klimstra, P.D. Duprex,A.L. Hartman, S.C. Weaver, K.S. Plante, D. Mirchandani, J. Plante, P.V. Aguilar, D. Fernandez, A. Nalca, A. Totura, D. Dyer, B. Kearney, M. Lackemeyer, J.K. Bohannon, R. Johnson, R.F. Garry, D.S. Reed, C.J. Roy. 2020. Persistence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 in Aerosol Suspensions.Emerging Infectious Diseases. 26(9): Sept 2020.

  • Ma, H., J.D. Lundy, E.L. Cottle, K.J. O’Malley, A.M. Trichel, W.B. Klimstra,A.L. Hartman, D.S. Reed, T. Teichert. 2020. Applications of minimally invasive multimodal telemetry for continuous monitoring of brain function and intracranial pressure in macaques with acute viral encephalitis. PLoS One 15(6): e0232381.

  • Ma, H., J.D. Lundy, K.J. O’Malley, W.B. Klimstra,A.L. Hartman, and D.S. Reed. 2019. Electrocardiography Abnormalities in Macaques after Infection with Encephalitic Alphaviruses.Pathogens. 8(4), 240.
  • 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.
  • Albe, J.R., D.A. Boyles, A.W. Walters, M.R. Kujawa, C.M. McMillen, D.S. Reed, andA.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.
  • 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.
  • McMillen, C.M., N. Arora, D.A. Boyles, J.R. Albe, M.R. Kujawa, J.F. Bonadio, C.B. Coyne, andA.L. Hartman. 2018. Rift Valley fever virus induces fetal demise through direct placental infection. Science Advances 4(12):eaau9812. December 5, 2018.
  • McMillen, CM, andA.L. Hartman. 2018. Rift Valley fever in animals and humans: Current perspectives. Antiviral Research. 156:29-37.
  • Lane WC, Dunn MD, Gardner CL, Lam LKM, Watson AM,Hartman AL, Ryman KD, Klimstra WB. 2018. The efficacy of the interferon alpha/beta response versus arboviruses is temperature dependent. mBio 9:e00535-18.
  • Wonderlich, E.R., A.L. Caroline, C.M. McMillen, A.W. Walters, D.S. Reed, S.M. Barratt-Boyes, andA.L. Hartman. 2018. Peripheral blood biomarkers of disease outcome in a monkey model of Rift Valley Fever encephalitis. Journal of Virology 92(3):e01662-17, PMID: 29118127 doi:10.1128/JVI.01662-17.
  • Koday, M.T., J.A. Leonard, P. Munson, A. Forero, M. Koday, D.L. Bratt, J.T. Fuller, R.
    Murnane, S. Qin, T.A. Reinhart, K. Duus, I. Messaoudi, A.L. Hartman, K.S. Cole, J. Morrison, M.G. Katze, and D.H. Fuller. 2017. Multigenic DNA vaccine induces protective cross-reactive T cell responses against heterologous influenza virus in nonhuman primates. PLOS One. 12(12):
  • Hartman A.L.. Rift Valley Fever. Clinics in Laboratory Medicine. 2017;37(2):285-301. doi:
  • Wonderlich, E.R., Z.D Swan, S.J. Bissel,A.L. Hartman, J.P. Carney, K.J. O’Malley, A.O. Obadan, J. Santos,, R. Walker, T.J. Sturgeon, L.J. Frye Jr, P. Maiello, C.A. Scanga, J.D. Bowling, A.L. Bouwer, P.A. Duangkhae, C.A. Wiley, J.L. Flynn, J. Wang, K.S. Cole, D.R. Perez, D.S. Reed, and S.M. Barratt-Boyes. 2017. Widespread virus replication in alveoli drives acute respiratory distress syndrome in aerosolized H5N1 influenza infection of macaques. Journal of Immunology. 198. DOI:
  • Caroline, A.L., M.R. Kujawa, T. Oury, D.S. Reed, andA.L. Hartman. 2016. Inflammatory biomarkers associated with lethal Rift Valley fever encephalitis in the Lewis rat model. Frontiers in Microbiology. 6:1509. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2015.01509.
  • Mirza, S.K., T.R. Tragon, M.B. Fukui, M.S. Hartman, andA.L. Hartman. 2015. Microbiology for Radiologists: How to Minimize Infection Transmission in the Radiology Department. RadioGraphics. 45(4). DOI:
  • Caroline, A.L., D.S. Powell, L.M. Bethel, T.D. Oury, D.S. Reed, andA.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.
  • 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.
  • 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, andA.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.
  • 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.
  • Narayanan, A., K. Kehn-Hall, S. Senina, L. Lundberg, R. Van Duyne, I. Guendel, R. Das, A. Baer, L. Bethel, M. Turell,A.L. Hartman, B. Das, M.S. Navati, A.J. Friedman, J.M. Friedman, C. Bailey, and F. Kashanchi. 2012. Curcumin inhibits Rift Valley Fever Virus replication in human cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 287(40):33198-33214.
  • Bales, J.M., D.S. Powell, L.M. Bethel, D.S. Reed, andA.L.Hartman. 2012. Choice of inbred rat strain impacts lethality and disease course after respiratory infection with Rift Valley Fever Virus. Frontiers in Cellular Infection Microbiology. 2(105):1-14.&nbsp
  • Hartman, A.L., K.S. Cole, and L.C. Homer. 2012. Verification of Inactivation Methods for Removal of Biological Materials from a Biosafety Level-3 Select Agent Facility. Applied Biosafety: Journal of the American Biological Safety Association. 17(2):70-75.&nbsp
  • Homer, L.C.,A.L.Hartman, D.T. Heflin, A.M. Trichel, D.S. Reed, and K.S. Cole. 2011. Enhancement of the Mentored Training Program for Investigative Staff at the University of Pittsburgh Regional Biocontainment Laboratory. Applied Biosafety: Journal of the American Biological Safety Association. 16(4):231-239.
  • Hartman, A.L., L.C. Homer, A.M. Trichel, D. Fisher, J. Frerotte, and K.S. Cole. 2010. Evolution of a Facility-Specific BSL-3 Training Program for the University of Pittsburgh Regional Biocontainment Laboratory. Applied Biosafety: Journal of the American Biological Safety Association. 15(3):137-141.
  • Bird, B.H., J. Githinji, J. Macharia, J. Kasiiti, R.M. Muriithi, S.G. Gacheru, J.O. Musaa, J.S. Towner, S.A. Reeder, J.B. Oliver, T.L. Stevens, B.R. Erickson, L.T. Morgan, M.L. Khristova,A.L. Hartman, J.A. Comer, P.E. Rollin, T.G. Ksiazek, and S.T. Nichol. 2008. Multiple virus lineages sharing recent common ancestry were associated with a large Rift Valley fever outbreak among livestock in Kenya during 2006-2007. Journal of Virology 82(22):11152 - 11166.
  • Hartman, A.L., L. Ling, S.T. Nichol, and M.L. Hibberd. 2008. Whole Genome Expression Profiling Reveals that Inhibition of the Host Innate Immune Response by Ebola Virus can be Reversed by a Single Amino Acid Change in the VP35 Protein. Journal of Virology 82(11): 5348-5358.
  • Hartman, A.L., B.H. Bird, J.S. Towner, Z. Antoniadou, S. Zaki, and S.T. Nichol. 2008. Inhibition of IRF-3 activation by VP35 is critical for the high virulence of Ebola virus. Journal of Virology 82(6):2699-2704.
  • Bird, B.H., C. Albarino, A.L. Hartman, B. Erickson, T. Ksiazek, and S.T. Nichol. 2008. 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. Journal of Virology 82(6):2681-2691.
  • Hartman, A. L., J. E. Dover, J. S. Towner, and S. T. Nichol. 2006. Reverse genetic generation of recombinant Zaire Ebola viruses containing disrupted IRF-3 inhibitory domains results in attenuated virus growth in vitro and higher levels of IRF-3 activation without inhibiting viral transcription or replication. Journal of Virology. 80(13):6430-6440.
  • Towner, J. S., M. L. Khristova, M. Vincent, T. K. Sealy, B. R. Erickson, D. Bawiec,A L. Hartman, A. Comer, S. Zaki, H. Feldmann, P. Rollin, T. G. Ksiazek, and S. T. Nichol. 2006. Emergence of Marburg Virus in Angola, West Africa. Journal of Virology. 80(13):6497-6516.
  • Cardenas, W. B., Y.-M. Loo, M. Gale Jr.,A. L. Hartman, and C. F. Basler. 2006. Ebola virus VP35 protein binds dsRNA and inhibits interferon Alpha/Beta production induced by RIG-I signaling. Journal of Virology. 80(11):5168-78.
  • Reid, S.R., L. W. Leung,A. L. Hartman, O. Martinez, M. L. Shaw, C. Carbonnelle, V. E. Volchkov, S. T. Nichol, and C. F. Basler. 2006. Ebola virus VP24 Binds Karyopherin-alpha1 and Blocks STAT1 Nuclear Accumulation. Journal of Virology. 80(11):5156-67.
  • Hartman, A. L., J. S. Towner, and S. T. Nichol. 2004. A C-terminal basic amino acid motif of Zaire ebolavirus VP35 is essential for type I interferon antagonism and displays high identity with the RNA-binding domain of another interferon antagonist, the NS1 protein of influenza A virus. Virology. 328:177-184.