Document 15355238

January 27, 2016
Biography for Dr. Amanda M. Brown, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology, Department of Neurology, Division of Neuroimmunology
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Dr. Amanda Brown completed her Bachelors of Science degree in Biochemistry at the University of
California Riverside and obtained her PhD in Microbiology/Immunology at the Albert Einstein College of
Medicine in Bronx, New York. As a graduate student she showed that resistance to azide mapped to
SecA, the general protein secretion machinery of mycobacteria. It was here that she developed a keen
interest in macrophage-pathogen biology. With the aim of contributing to research that could lead to
better treatments, Dr. Brown entered the field of HIV/AIDS through a postdoctoral fellowship at the
Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York, where she constructed the first replication
competent macrophage-tropic HIV reporter virus to study the role of HIV Nef, which is essential for viral
pathogenesis. She identified the PAK2 protein kinase complex, as an essential contributor to Nef’s
ability to enhance HIV replication in primary macrophages and T-cells.
In 2004, Dr. Brown moved to the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
continuing her research on HIV-macrophage pathogen biology while at the same time incorporating a
translational focus. Her group recently identified a unique cell surface biosignature for persistently HIVinfected macrophages in culture, which could help studies aimed at understanding this viral reservoir.
Using primary rodent and human cell culture and autopsy tissue from HIV-infected individuals, Dr.
Brown also studies how macrophages and microglia in the brain contribute to neuronal injury and
dysfunction. Next generation sequencing and gene knockdown tools are used to identify and study key
cellular pathways involved in proinflammatory signaling mediated by the cytokine osteopontin, which
her group and others have shown is elevated in the cerebrospinal fluid of HIV-infected individuals with
cognitive impairment. Her research appears in journals including the Journal of Virology, Neurovirology,
Retrovirology and Leukocyte Biology and Neuroscience Letters. The long-term goal of her research
program is to develop neuroprotective therapies that could be translated to the clinic.
Dr. Brown is invested in training the next generation of scientists from diverse backgrounds. She serves
as co-director for the Developmental Core of the Johns Hopkins Center for Novel Neurotherapeutics,
which promotes innovative high-risk research projects having potential for translation to the clinic. She
co-directs the program, Translational Research in NeuroAIDS and Mental Health to promote diversity in
neuroHIV research at the investigator and project level. She is the Director of the Johns Hopkins
Internship in Brain Sciences summer program, which provides experiential research and professional
development experiences for under-represented high school students in Baltimore City and the
surrounding metropolitan area.
For her scholarship in research and education, Dr. Brown received the Johns Hopkins University
Diversity Leadership Award in May 2014 and currently serves on the Diversity Leadership Council,
which works in an advisory capacity with the university president. She was selected as a Keystone
Symposia on Molecular and Cell Biology Fellow for 2014 and serves on the Women and Diversity
Committee for the Society for Leukocyte Biology. She is a managing editor for the Frontiers in
Bioscience special series and her research and outreach activities have been, or are currently
supported through grants from the Campbell Foundation, the Margaret Q. Landenberger Foundation,
the Cohen Opportunity Fund, and the National Institutes of Mental Health.