Faculty Profile

Dr. Marla J. Keller, M.D.

Marla J. Keller, M.D.

Professor, Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)

Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health

Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine

Associate Director, Block Institute for Clinical and Translational Research

Professional Interests

Marla Keller, MD is Professor of Medicine (Division of Infectious Diseases), Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health.  She has a long-standing interest in the prevention and treatment of HIV-infection in 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.

Dr. Keller leads a research program focused on early phase clinical trials to assess the safety of candidate vaginal microbicides, drugs in development to prevent the sexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus, herpes simplex virus and human papillomavirus.  Her studies also focus on defining the factors that contribute to innate mucosal immunity in the female genital tract of HIV-infected and uninfected US and African women.  She has completed safety and pharmacokinetic studies of candidate microbicide gels (PRO 2000, Tenofovir, Dapivirine, Acidform), tablets (Tenofovir/Emtricitabine) and vaginal rings (Acyclovir) and tested laboratory assays, which may prove to serve as biomarkers predictive of microbicide safety and efficacy. 

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 genital mucosal immunity and HPV screening practices in HIV-infected and at-risk women.   

Dr. Keller is a fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), a member of the HIV Medical Association (HIVMA) and a Councilor of the Infectious Diseases Society of New York.  She is a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)  Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents (a working group of the Office of AIDS Research Council).  She leads the Clinical Investigation Services Core and is Director of the Clinical Research Center, components of the Harold and Muriel Block Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Einstein and Montefiore, which is funded as an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) consortium member.  She is also an active member of the Einstein-Montefiore Center for AIDS Research.

Selected Publications

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.

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.


More Information About Dr. Marla Keller

Director of Clinical Research Center, Institute for Clinical and Translational Research

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Block, Room 512
Bronx, NY 10461

Tel: 718.430.3240
Fax: 718.430.8879

Research Information