Kate D. Ryman, PhD

Kate Ryman Associate Professor
Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
8037 BST3
3501 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261

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Phone: (412) 624-3667
Fax: (412) 624-4440
E-mail: ryman@cvr.pitt.edu
Webpage: http://www.cvr.pitt.edu/personnel/view.asp?uid=ryman
Lab Information

Phone: (412) 624-4482
Lab Members:
      • Caves, Elizabeth Ann
      • Duangkhae, Parichat
      • Dunn, Matthew D
      • Gardner, Christina L
      • Lam, Long Kwan Metthew
      • Maksin, Chelsea L
      • Ryman, Kate D
      • Tang, Hanqi
      • Watson, Alan M
      • Weiss, Christopher Michael


      Dr. Ryman recently relocated to the University of Pittsburgh as an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. She received her B.S. degree in Microbiology from the University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K. As part of the degree program, she worked at Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis) in England for a year and then in Switzerland after graduation. In 1991, she began her Ph.D. studies in the laboratory of Dr. Alan Barrett at the University of Surrey, and moved to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX when Dr. Barrett's lab relocated. She was awarded a Ph.D. degree in Virology by the University of Surrey in 1995. Afterward, she became a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Robert Johnston at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), where she gained extensive experience and expertise in the study of immunological and molecular aspects of mosquito-borne virus pathogenesis and disease. She was promoted to Research Assistant Professor at UNC-CH in 2000 and then, in 2002, joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, LA. In 2004, she was the recipient of the Charles Randall Lectureship awarded by the South Central Branch of the American Society for Microbiology for “Outstanding Accomplishments in Microbiology.”


      Dr. Ryman's laboratory studies enveloped RNA viruses from the families Flaviviridae and Togaviridae, many of which are classified as potential agents of biowarfare/bioterrorism and emerging infectious disease by NIH/NIAID and/or CDC because they are highly pathogenic in humans, but typically there are no effective antivirals or licensed vaccines available. The specific focus is on developing a better understanding of the way in which the early virus-host interaction shapes the outcome of infection. As understanding of the host-pathogen interaction increases, it will be possible to rationally design antiviral drugs for acute phase therapy and live attenuated virus strains that can be used as vaccines.

Selected Publications

  • Ryman, K.D. and W.B. Klimstra. (2014). Closing the gap between viral and noninfectious arthritis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 111:5767-8.

  • Trobaugh, D.W., K.D. Ryman and W.B. Klimstra. (2014). Can understanding the virulence mechanisms of RNA viruses lead us to a vaccine against eastern equine encephalitis virus and other alphaviruses? Expert Rev Vaccines. Jul 30:1-3. [Epub ahead of print].

  • Gardner, C.L., C.W. Burke, M.Z. Tesfay, P.J. Glass, W.B. Klimstra and K.D. Ryman. (2008). Eastern and Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses differ in their infectivity for dendritic cells and macrophages: Impact of altered cell tropism on pathogenesis. Journal of Virology, 82:10634-10646.

  • Sun, C., C.L. Gardner, A.M. Watson, K.D. Ryman and W.B. Klimstra. (2014). Stable, high-level expression of reporter proteins from improved alphavirus expression vectors to track replication and dissemination during encephalitic and arthritogenic disease. Journal of Virology. 88:2035-46.

  • Gardner, C.L., J. Hritz, C. Sun, D.L. Vanlandingham, T.Y. Song, E. Ghedin, S. Higgs, W.B. Klimstra, K.D. Ryman. (2014). Deliberate attenuation of chikungunya virus by adaptation to heparan sulfate-dependent infectivity: a model for rational arboviral vaccine design. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. Feb 20;8(2):e2719.

  • Trobaugh, D.W., C.L. Gardner, C. Sun, A. Haddow, E. Wang, E. Chapnik, A. Mildner, S. Weaver, K.D. Ryman and W.B. Klimstra. (2014). RNA viruses can hijack the antiviral activity of vertebrate microRNAs to suppress innate immunity. Nature, 506:245-8.

  • Beck, A., R.B. Tesh, T.G. Wood, S.G. Widen, K.D. Ryman and A.D.T. Barrett. (2013). Comparison of the live attenuated yellow fever vaccine 17D-204 to its virulent parental strain Asibi by deep sequencing. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 209:334-44.

  • Gardner, C.L., C.W. Burke, S.T. Higgs, W.B. Klimstra and K.D. Ryman. (2012). Interferon-alpha/beta deficiency greatly exacerbates arthritogenic disease in mice infected with wild-type chikungunya virus but not with the cell culture-adapted live-attenuated 181/25 vaccine candidate. Virology, 425:103-112.

  • Gardner, C.L., G.D. Ebel, K.D. Ryman, and W.B. Klimstra. (2011). Heparan sulfate binding by natural eastern equine encephalitis viruses promotes neurovirulence. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 108:16026-16031.

  • Meier. K.C., C.L. Gardner, M.V. Khoretonenko, W.B. Klimstra and K.D. Ryman. (2009). A mouse model for viscerotropic disease caused by yellow fever virus infection. PLoS Pathogens, 5(10):e1000614.

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Last Modified: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 12:15:38 PM
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