Charlene S. Dezzutti, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, division of reproductive infectious diseases and immunology, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a member at the University of Pittsburgh-affiliated Magee-Womens Research Institute. In addition, she holds a secondary appointment in the department of infectious diseases and microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
A cell biologist specializing in viral immunology, Dr. Dezzutti is the principal investigator of the Laboratory Center at the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN), an HIV/AIDS clinical trials network established by in 2006 by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). In this capacity, Dr. Dezzutti is responsible for overseeing the collection, testing and reporting of results from biologic samples; assisting in the development and quality assurance of local laboratory capacity at study sites; and identifying and implementing state-of-the-art assays and technologies to advance the scientific agenda of the MTN.
Dr. Dezzutti joined the University of Pittsburgh faculty in 2005 after 13 years at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she was a senior research microbiologist in the Laboratory Branch of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention. While at the CDC, Dr. Dezzutti developed the cervical and colorectal explant models that serve as a method for evaluating the anti-HIV activity and tissue toxicity of microbicides in cell culture. Another area of Dr. Dezzutti’s research uses an assay that exposes mucosal tissue from people who used microbicide products to HIV in the laboratory. This assay helps to determine whether microbicide products are effective in protecting the tissue from HIV infection, streamlining product selection to move only the safest and most promising microbicides to testing people. She has co-authored over 80 peer-reviewed publications and 14 reviews.