|Assistant Professor of Medicine
UPMC Montefiore Hospital - NW628
3459 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Patricia George received her M.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 2001. After completing her Osler internship and residency at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, she pursued training in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. While in fellowship, her clinical and research interests centered on lung transplantation and lung disease in immunocompromised hosts. She trained under the mentorship of Steven Duncan, Alison Morris, and Karen Norris. In July 2008, Dr. George joined the Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, and is pursuing her clinical and research interests.
Dr. George’s clinical interests focus on pulmonary hypertension and lung transplantation. She is the pulmonary transplant liaison in the Comprehensive Pulmonary Hypertension Program and takes care of patients pre- and post-lung transplant as a member of the lung transplant faculty.
Dr. George’s research interests revolve around chronic lung disease in HIV-infected individuals. She is currently exploring two major avenues of investigation.
In her primary project, she focuses on HIV-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (HIV-PAH). Under the mentorship of Dr. Karen Norris, Dr. George discovered that cynamolgus macaques infected with Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), and Simian/Human Immunodeficiency Virus expressing the HIV-1 derived env gene (SHIV-env) develop pulmonary vascular lesions (mainly intimal and medial hyperplasia of medium and large arteries) consistent with pulmonary arteriopathy. She is using this model and exploring other small animal models to further explore factors important in the development. As a Parker B. Francis Fellow, Dr. George is working with Dr. Thomas Smithgall and Dr. Gladwin in exploring the molecular pathways underlying HIV-PAH in an in vitro cellular model.
Human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells expressing green fluorescent protein. Using this model, Dr. George expresses HIV viral proteins and studies their impact on cell proliferation and function.
In her second main project, she is exploring the impact of immune restoration through highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on the pathogenesis of COPD. In a study of 234 HIV-infected outpatients, Dr. George and her mentor, Dr. Alison Morris, demonstrated that several clinical characteristics were associated with decrease in FEV1/FVC. In addition to increased age, pack-year smoking history, and history of bacterial pneumonia, they found that the use of HAART itself was an independent predictor of a lower FEV1/FVC. Dr. George is further exploring the hypothesis that immune restoration through HAART leads to increased airway obstruction/COPD via propagation of a chronic inflammatory response to pulmonary pathogens and/or autoantigens.
Examples of representative pulmonary hypertension lesions on H&E stain. Medial hyperplasia in SHIV-env-infected macaque (left), and complex vascular lesion with recannalization in SIV-infected macaque (right).
George MP, Champion HC, Pilewski JM. Lung transplantation for pulmonary hypertension.
Pulm Circ. 2011 Apr;1(2):182-91. PMID: 22034605 [PubMed]
George MP, Brower A, Kling H, Shipley T, Kristoff J, Reinhart TA, Murphey-Corb M, Gladwin MT, Champion HC, Morris A, Norris KA. Pulmonary vascular lesions are common in SIV- and SHIV-env-infected macaques. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2011, Feb;27(2):103-11. Epub 2010 Oct 21. PMID: 20961277 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
George MP, Kannass M, Huang L, Sciurba FC, Morris A. Respiratory symptoms and airway obstruction in HIV-infected subjects in the HAART era. PLoS One. 2009 Jul 21;4(7):e6328.
Studer SM, George MP, Zhu X, Song Y, Valentine VG, Stoner MW, Sethi J, Steele C, Duncan SR. CD28 down-regulation on CD4 T cells is a marker for graft dysfunction in lung transplant recipients. AJRCCM; 2008: 178(7): 765-73.