Adaeze O. Izuogu, PhD

  • Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Adaeze Izuogu joined the Department of Pediatrics in February 2018 as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Dr. Terence Dermody to study the mosquito-borne alphavirus, chikungunya virus. Her current focus is to better understand the functions of a group of viral proteins synthesized in the host cell, termed nonstructural proteins. Since joining the lab, she has identified putative host factors interacting with chikungunya virus during infection and is focused on determining their specific roles in the viral life cycle. Dr. Izuogu is a virologist with a long-standing interest in uncovering the molecular mechanisms that mediate viral replication processes. She received her Ph.D. in medical microbiology and immunology in 2017. Her research interests are focused on arthropod-borne viruses, which have traditionally been difficult to treat and pose a significant threat to human health. She aims to (i) determine mechanisms by which arboviruses hijack host cells to replicate, disseminate to new cells, and cause disease; (ii) identify factors that mediate tissue and host-specificity of viral infections; and (iii) elucidate viable host targets that can serve as the foundation for the rational design of therapeutics by studying protein-protein interactions. Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Izuogu gained field work experience in Nigeria Nigeria, focusing on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and other endemic pathogens. She then spent her doctoral years at the University of Toledo, Ohio where she studied flaviviruses and molecular determinants of viral resistance in natural reservoir hosts. In the future, she plans to continue as a research scientist in the field of virology.

Education & Training

  • BS, Covenant University, 2010
  • PhD, The University of Toledo, 2017

Selected Publications

Izuogu AO., Haddad M., Manivannan P., Ciricillo J., Krishnamurthy M., and Taylor, RT. 2019. Importance of redox state to reservoir host resistance to tick-borne flaviviruses. Manuscript in Preparation 

Youseff BH, Brewer TG, McNally KL, Izuogu AO, Lubick K, Presloid JB, Alqahtani S, Saurabh  Chattopadhyay S, Best SM, Hu X, and RT Taylor. 2019. TRAF6 plays a proviral role in tick-borne flavivirus infection through interaction with the NS3 protease. iScience.   doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2019.05.010. 

Izuogu AO., McNally KL., Harris SE., Youseff BH., Presloid JB., Burlak C, Munshi-South J, Best SM., and Taylor RT (2017). Interferon signaling in Peromyscus leucopus confers a potent and specific restriction to vector-borne flaviviruses. PLOS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179781. 

Izuogu AO and Taylor RT. (2017). Lentiviral Knockdown of Transcription Factor STAT1 in Peromyscus leucopus to Assess its Role in the Restriction of Tick-borne Flaviviruses. Bio-protocol. 

Izuogu AO.  How the white-footed mouse can help humans fight diseases Toledo Blade. Published   June 6, 2016.

Izuogu AO., Youseff* BH., and Taylor RT. Innate weapons of host restriction against flaviviruses and viral countermeasures. Viruses. Manuscript in preparation.