Karen Norris

Center for Vaccines and Immunology, Department of Infectious Diseases
GRA Eminent Scholar in Immunology and Translational Biomedicine, Professor


  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Infectious Disease
  • Infectious Disease
  • Microbiology
  • Vaccinology


Karen Norris, PhD, received her doctorate in biomedical sciences and microbiology from Wright State University School of Medicine and completed post-doctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute.  Dr. Norris was appointed as Assistant Professor in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, then joined the newly formed Department of Immunology at Pitt in 2002.  In 2016, Dr. Norris was named Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Translational Medicine and Immunology and became a member of the University of Georgia Center for Vaccines and Immunology.  Dr. Norris is a Professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases in the College of Veterinary Medicine.  Dr. Norris conducts research in immunology and infectious diseases with emphasis on vaccine development,  co-morbidities and opportunistic infections associated with HIV infection, chronic immune activation and aging.  She has developed a team of investigators and collaborators who provide expertise in all aspects of these studies including veterinary, pulmonary, cardiology, pathology, immunology, radiology, virology and immunology. This team has been successful in establishing the first non-human primate models of Pneumocystis pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary arterial hypertension.  Current studies are underway to test the efficacy of Pneumocystis vaccine in pre-clinical models and develop therapeutic interventions to treat inflammation-mediated diseases including diabetes, pulmonary hypertension, RSV and COPD.

Research Interests

  • Immunology and Infectious Diseases
  • Vaccine development for prevention of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) and COPD
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection—treatment and vaccine development
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); Immune Activation and Aging
  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH); Immune-mediated mechanisms of pathogenesis
  • Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome; therapeutic testing; chronic immune activation/inflammation
  • Age-related Immunology

Educational Background

PhD, Biomedical Sciences and Microbiology, Wright State University

BS, Bowling Green University

Selected Publications

Search PubMed for “Norris KA”

  • Shipley TW, Kling HM, Morris A, Patil S, Kristoff J, Guyach SE, Murphy JE, Shao X, Sciurba FC, Rogers RM, Richards T, Thompson P, Montelaro RC, Coxson HO, Hogg JC, Norris KA. Persistent pneumocystis colonization leads to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in a nonhuman primate model of AIDS. J Infect Dis. 2010 Jul 15;202(2):302-12.
  • George MP, Champion HC, Simon M, Guyach S, Tarantelli R, Kling HM, Brower A, Janssen C, Murphy J, Carney JP, Morris A, Gladwin MT, Norris KA. Physiologicchanges in a nonhuman primate model of HIV-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2013 Mar;48(3):374-81.
  • Kling HM, Norris KA. Vaccine-Induced Immunogenicity and Protection Against Pneumocystis Pneumonia in a Nonhuman Primate Model of HIV and Pneumocystis Coinfection. J Infect Dis. 2016 May 15;213(10):1586-95.
  • Bertero T, Oldham WM, Cottrill KA, Pisano S, Vanderpool RR, Yu Q, Zhao J, Tai Y, Tang Y, Zhang YY, Rehman S, Sugahara M, Qi Z, Gorcsan J 3rd, Vargas SO, Saggar R, Saggar R, Wallace WD, Ross DJ, Haley KJ, Waxman AB, Parikh VN, De Marco T, Hsue PY, Morris A, Simon MA, Norris KA, Gaggioli C, Loscalzo J, Fessel J, Chan SY. Vascular stiffness mechanoactivates YAP/TAZ-dependent glutaminolysis to drive pulmonary hypertension. J Clin Invest. 2016 Sep 1;126(9):3313-35.
  • Morris A, Paulson JN, Talukder H, Tipton L, Kling H, Cui L, Fitch A, Pop M, Norris KA, Ghedin E. Longitudinal analysis of the lung microbiota of cynomolgous macaques during long-term SHIV infection. Microbiome. 2016 Jul 8;4(1):38.