Mario Ostrowski


Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science


My current research interests focus on the immunopathogenesis of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) /Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). We are interested in understanding why HIV and HCV persist in the host. Current work is divided along the following lines:

1. Examination of T cell immune response to HIV and HCV infection.
2. Investigation of new immune-based adjuvants for DNA or pox-based vaccines: Investigation of novel immune-based strategies to treat HIV- and HCV-infected individuals.

Recent Publications

  1. Routy, JP, Isnard, S, Mehraj, V, Ostrowski, M, Chomont, N, Ancuta, P et al.. Effect of metformin on the size of the HIV reservoir in non-diabetic ART-treated individuals: single-arm non-randomised Lilac pilot study protocol. BMJ Open. 2019;9 (4):e028444. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028444. PubMed PMID:31005944 PubMed Central PMC6500211.
  2. Omondi, FH, Chandrarathna, S, Mujib, S, Brumme, CJ, Jin, SW, Sudderuddin, H et al.. HIV Subtype and Nef-Mediated Immune Evasion Function Correlate with Viral Reservoir Size in Early-Treated Individuals. J. Virol. 2019;93 (6):. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01832-18. PubMed PMID:30602611 PubMed Central PMC6401425.
  3. Perciani, CT, Farah, B, Kaul, R, Ostrowski, MA, Mahmud, SM, Anzala, O et al.. Live attenuated varicella-zoster virus vaccine does not induce HIV target cell activation. J. Clin. Invest. 2019;129 (2):875-886. doi: 10.1172/JCI124473. PubMed PMID:30511963 PubMed Central PMC6355215.
  4. Schwartz, JA, Zhang, H, Ende, Z, Deymier, MJ, Lee, T, Singer, J et al.. Characterization of the Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Response to Transmitted/Founder and Nontransmitted Variants of HIV-1. J. Virol. 2018;92 (19):. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00157-18. PubMed PMID:29997203 PubMed Central PMC6146793.
  5. Perciani, CT, Sekhon, M, Hundal, S, Farah, B, Ostrowski, MA, Anzala, AO et al.. Live Attenuated Zoster Vaccine Boosts Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV)-Specific Humoral Responses Systemically and at the Cervicovaginal Mucosa of Kenyan VZV-Seropositive Women. J. Infect. Dis. 2018;218 (8):1210-1218. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiy320. PubMed PMID:29800309 PubMed Central PMC6129112.
  6. Perciani, CT, Jaoko, W, Farah, B, Ostrowski, MA, Anzala, O, MacDonald, KS et al.. αEβ7, α4β7 and α4β1 integrin contributions to T cell distribution in blood, cervix and rectal tissues: Potential implications for HIV transmission. PLoS ONE. 2018;13 (2):e0192482. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192482. PubMed PMID:29420608 PubMed Central PMC5805330.
  7. Wong, RW, Lingwood, CA, Ostrowski, MA, Cabral, T, Cochrane, A. Cardiac glycoside/aglycones inhibit HIV-1 gene expression by a mechanism requiring MEK1/2-ERK1/2 signaling. Sci Rep. 2018;8 (1):850. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-19298-x. PubMed PMID:29339801 PubMed Central PMC5770468.
  8. Wang, C, Edilova, MI, Wagar, LE, Mujib, S, Singer, M, Bernard, NF et al.. Effect of IL-7 Therapy on Phospho-Ribosomal Protein S6 and TRAF1 Expression in HIV-Specific CD8 T Cells in Patients Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy. J. Immunol. 2018;200 (2):558-564. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1601254. PubMed PMID:29222166 PubMed Central PMC5760332.
  9. Clayton, KL, Ostrowski, MM. Editorial: Countering immune regulation: sTim-ulating SLE disease pathogenesis. J. Leukoc. Biol. 2017;102 (6):1286-1288. doi: 10.1189/jlb.3CE0717-279RR. PubMed PMID:29191867 .
  10. Perciani, CT, Jaoko, W, Walmsley, S, Farah, B, Mahmud, SM, Ostrowski, M et al.. Protocol of a randomised controlled trial characterising the immune responses induced by varicella-zoster virus (VZV) vaccination in healthy Kenyan women: setting the stage for a potential VZV-based HIV vaccine. BMJ Open. 2017;7 (9):e017391. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017391. PubMed PMID:28939581 PubMed Central PMC5623463.
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Infectious Disease Consultant, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Professor, Department of Medicine, Immunology, Lab Medicine, Pathobiology, University of Toronto