Professor, Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)
Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine
Associate Director, Block Institute for Clinical and Translational Research
Marla Keller, MD is Professor of Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health. She is a practicing Infectious Diseases physician with a clinical and research interest in the prevention and treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection in adult and adolescent women.
Dr. Keller graduated from New York University School of Medicine, completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Hospital, and a fellowship in the combined Infectious Disease training program at Beth Israel Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. She completed the Clinical Research Training Prgram at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and was a faculty member at Mount Sinai for 9 years before coming to Einstein in 2007.
Dr. Keller's NIH-funded research includes the design and conduct of human studies to translate in vitro, murine, and macaque findings to the clinic with the ultimate goal of developing novel preventive strategies to reduce the global burden of HIV and HSV. She has led the clinical component of several large program project grants to advance development of topical pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) strategies to reduce the sexual transmisssion of HIV and HSV-2. She has completed first-in-human and Phase 1 safety, pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) studies of novel vaginal microbicide candidates and formulations (gels, tablets, and rings) for PrEP and contraception. She has also tested laboratory assays to assess biomarkers of microbicide safety and efficacy and to determine effects of candidate products on the vaginal microbiome. She is currently conducting studies in US and African women to assess effects of bacterial vaginosis and hormones on the PK/PD of antiretrovirals for PrEP.
Dr. Keller is a co-investigator of the Bronx/Manhattan consortium of the NIH-funded Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a multi-center, prospective cohort established in 1994 to investigate the impact of HIV infection on women in the United States. Her work in the WIHS focuses on understanding female genital mucosal immunity and the impact of HSV on HIV as well as improving HPV screening practices in HIV-infected women.
Dr. Keller is a fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), a member of the HIV Medical Association (HIVMA), and a member of the Sexually Transmitted Infections subcommittee of the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute Quality of Life Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents (a working group of the Office of AIDS Research Council). She was recently appointed Vice Chair for Research for the Department of Medicine and Associate Director of the Harold and Muriel Block Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Einstein and Montefiore, which is funded by a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from NIH.
Keller MJ, Guzman E, Hazrati E, Kasowitz A, Cheshenko N, Wallenstein S, Patel S, Cole AL, Cole AM, Profy AT, Wira CR, Hogarty K, Herold BC. PRO 2000 elicits a decline in genital tract immune mediators without compromising intrinsic antimicrobial activity. AIDS, 21:467-476, 2007.
Patel S, Hazrati E, Galen B, Yang H, Guzman E, Wang R, Herold BC, Keller MJ. Seminal plasma reduces the effectiveness of topical polyanionic microbicides. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 196:1394-1402, 2007.
Shust GF, Cho S, Kim M, Madan RP, Guzman EM, Pollack M, Epstein J, Cohen HW, Keller MJ, Herold BC. Female genital tract secretions inhibit herpes simplex virus infection: Correlation with soluble mucosal immune mediators and impact of hormonal contraception. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology 63:110-9, 2009.
Keller MJ, Mesquita PMM, Torres M, Cho S, Shust G, Madan RP, Cohen HW, Petrie J, Ford T, Soto-Torres L, Profy AT, Herold BC. Postcoital bioavailability and antiviral activity of 0.5% PRO 2000 gel: implications for future microbicide clinical trials. PLoS One 5:e8781, 2010.
Keller MJ, Madan RP, Torres NM, Fazzari MJ, Cho S, Kalyoussef S, Shust G, Mesquita PMM, Louissaint N, Chen J, Cohen HW, Diament EC, Lee AC, Soto-Torres L, Hendrix CH, Herold BC. A randomized trial to assess anti-HIV activity in female genital tract secretions & soluble mucosal immunity following application of 1% tenofovir gel. PLoS One, 6:e16475, 2011.
Herold BC, Mesquita PMM, Madan Rp, Keller MJ. Female genital tract secretions and semen impact the development of microbicides for the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 65:325-333, 2011.
Verma NA, Lee AC, Herold BC, Keller MJ. Topical prophylaxis for HIV prevention in women: becoming a reality. Current HIV/AIDS Reports, 8:104-113, 2011.
Keller MJ, Malone AM, Carpenter CA, Lo Y, Huang M, Corey L, Willis R, Nguyen C, Kennedy S, Gunawardana M, Guerrero D, Moss JA, Baum MM, Smith TJ, Herold BC. Safety and pharmacokinetics of aciclovir in women following release from a silicone elastomer vaginal ring. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 67:2005-12, 2012.
Keller MJ, Burk RD, Xie X, Anastos K, Massad LS, Minkoff H, Xue X, D'Souza G, Watts DH, Levine AM, Castle PE, Colie C, Palefsky JM, Strickler HD. Risk of cervical precancer and cancer among HIV-infected women with normal cytology and no evidence of oncogenic HPV infection. JAMA, 308:362-369, 2012.
Keller MJ, Madan RP, Shust G, Torres NM, Cho S, Khine H, Huang M, Corey L, Kim M, Herold BC. Changes in the soluble mucosal immune environment during genital herpes outbreaks. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 61:194-202, 2012.
Keller MJ, Carpenter CA, Lo Y, Einstein MH, Lu C, Fredricks DN, Herold BC. Phase I randomized safety study of twice daily dosing of Acidform vaginal gel: candidate antimicrobial contraceptive. PLoS One, 7:e46901, 2012.
Keller MJ, Buckley N, Katzen LL, Walsh J, Friedland B, Littlefield S, Lin J, Xue X, Cornelison T, Herold BC, Einstein MH. Use of the dye stain assay and ultraviolet light test for assessing vaginal insertion of placebo-filled applicators before and after sex. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 40:939-943, 2013
Herold BC, Keller MJ, Shi Q, Hoover DR, Carpenter CA, Parikh UM, Agnew KJ, Minkoff H, Colie C, Nowicki MJ, D’Souza G, Anastos K. Plasma and mucosal HIV viral loads are associated with genital tract inflammation in HIV-infected women. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 63:485-493, 2013.
Ursell LK, Gunawardana M, Chang S, Mullen M, Moss JA, Herold BC, Keller MJ, McDonald D, Gonzalez A, Knight R, Baum MM. Comparison of the vaginal microbial communities in women with recurrent genital HSV receiving acyclovir intravaginal rings. Antiviral Research, 102:87-94, 2014.
Dominguez-Villar M, Gautron A, de Marcken M, Keller MJ, Hafler DA. TLR7 induces anergy in human CD4(+) T cells. Nature Immunology, 16:118-128, 2015.
Keller MJ, Burk RD, Massad LS, Eltoum IE, Hessol NA, Castle PE, Anastos A, Xie X, Minkoff H, Xue X, D’Souza G, Flowers L, Levine AM, Colie C, Rahangdale L, Fischl MA, Palefsky JM, Strickler HD. Cervical precancer risk in HIV-infected women who test positive for oncogenic human papillomavirus despite a normal Pap test. Clin Infect Dis, 61:1573-1581, 2015.
Keller MJ. Screening for human papillomavirus-associated cervical disease in HIV-infected women. Top Antivir Med, 23:142-145, 2015.
Nakra NA, Madan RP, Buckley N, Huber AM, Freiemuth J, Espinoza L, Walsh J, Parikh UM, Penrose KJ, Keller MJ, Herold BC. Loss of innate host defense following unprotected vaginal sex. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 213:840-847, 2016.
Keller MJ, Mesquita PM, Marzinke MA, Teller R, Espinoza L, Atrio JM, Lo Y, Frank B, Srinivasan S, Fredricks DN, Rabe L, Anderson PL, Hendrix CW, Kiser PF, Herold BC. A phase 1 randomized placebo-controlled safety and pharmacokinetic trial of a tenofovir disoproxil fumarate vaginal ring. AIDS, 30:743-751, 2016.
Keller MJ, McGinn AP, Lo Y, Huber A, Espinoza L, Minkoff H, Colie C, Nowicki MJ, D’Souza G, Anastos K. Longitudinal assessment of systemic and genital tract inflammatory markers and endogenous genital tract E. coli inhibitory activity in HIV-infected and uninfected women. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 75:631-42, 2016.
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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
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