Alex Hartlage

Area of Study: Viral immunology
Hometown: Morehead, KY


Research interests

Adaptive immunity to viruses, vaccine development

Awards, honors, publications

  • 2019 Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award, Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) Abigail Wexner Research Institute
  • 2019 Trainee Travel Award, NCH Abigail Wexner Research Institute
  • 2019 Best Poster, OSU Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) Annual Meeting
  • 2019 Travel Award, Infectious Diseases Society of American (IDSA) Foundation
  • 2019 Excellence in Research Award, OSU Clinician Scientist Research Day
  • 2019 Trainee Travel Award, NCH Abigail Wexner Research Institute
  • 2019 Travel Award, American Physician Scientists Association (APSA)
  • 2018 – present Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F30), NIAID
  • 2018 Trainee Abstract Award, NCH Research Retreat
  • 2016 – 2018 Susan L. Huntington Dean’s Distinguished University Fellowship, OSU
  • 2016 Leadership and Academic Achievement Award, OSUCOM MSTP
  • 2015 Leadership and Academic Achievement Award, OSUCOM MSTP
  • Publications:
    • Hartlage AS, Walker CM, Kapoor A. Priming of antiviral CD8 T cells without effector function by a persistently replicating hepatitis C-like virus. 2020. J. Virol. 94: e00035-20.
    • Hartlage AS, Srinivasa Murthy S, Kumar A, Trivedi S, Dravid P, Sharma H, Walker CM, Kapoor A. 2019. Vaccination to prevent T cell subversion can protect against persistent hepacivirus infection. Nat. Comm. 10: 1113.
    • Kohnken R, Wen J, Mundy-Bosse B, McConnell K, Keiter A, Grinshpun L, Hartlage A, Yano M, McNeil B, Chakravarti N, William B, Bradner J, Caligiuri MA, Porcu P, Mishra A. 2018 Diminished microRNA-29b level is associated with BRD4-mediated activation of oncogenes in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Blood 131: 771-781.
    • Trivedi S, Murthy S, Sharma H, Hartlage AS, Kumar A, Gadi S, Simmonds P, Chauhan LV, Scheel TKH, Billerbeck E, Burbelo PD, Rice CM, Lipkin WI, Vandergrift K, Cullen JM, Kapoor A. 2018. Viral persistence, liver disease and host response in Hepatitis C-like virus rat model. Hepatology 68: 435-448.
    • Billerbeck, E, Wolfisberg R, Fahnoe U, Xiao JW, Quirk C, Luna JM, Cullen JM, Hartlage AS, Chiriboga L, Ghoshal K, Lipkin WI, Bukh J, Scheel TKH, Kapoor A, Rice CM. 2017. Mouse models of acute and chronic hepacivirus infection. Science 357: 204-208.
    • Hartlage AS, Cullen JM, Kapoor A. 2016. The Strange, Expanding World of Animal Hepaciviruses. 2016. Annu. Rev. Virol. 3: 53-75.
    • Hartlage AS, Liu T, Patton JT, Garman SL, Lozanski G, Zhang X, Habibe K, Losanski G, Lustberg ME, Caligiuri MA, and Baiocchi RA. 2015. The Epstein-Barr virus lytic protein BZLF1 as a candidate target antigen for vaccine development. Cancer Immunol. Res. 3: 787-794.
    • Briercheck EL, Trotta RT, Chen L, Hartlage AS, Cole JP, Cole TD, Mao C, Banerjee PP, Hsu HT, Mace EM, Ciarlariello D, Mundy-Bosse BL, Garcia-Cao I, Yu L, Pilarsky R, Yu J, Leone G, Pandolfi PP, Orange JS, and Caligiuri MA. 2015. PTEN is a negative regulator of natural killer cell cytolytic function. J. Immunol. 194: 1832-1840.

Long-term goals/aspirations

Infectious Diseases physician-scientist specializing in the research and treatment of human viral disease. In particular, I hope to one day contribute to the development of a vaccine that defends against HIV or influenza – one of the so-called “holy grails” of human immunology. In tandem, I aim to pass on my knowledge and skills to new generations of students as both an educator and mentor.

Fun Facts

What you enjoy outside of school

I really love a good thought-provoking documentary, especially one that challenges societal practices or beliefs (with strong rationale and evidence of course!). Several years ago, I discovered a love for soccer and am excited to watch the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament. Also, for those who haven’t already, I would highly recommend tracing one’s family ancestry; it can be very surprising and humbling. Will happily discuss horror movies too (even the bad ones!).

A talent you have always wanted

Speak a foreign language. I have slowly been learning German over the past several years but it can be tough when not fully immersed in the language. My wife and I had plans to visit Deutschland this past year as part of our honeymoon, but alas we were unable to do so because of the pandemic.

Favorite book

As a kid, my favorite book was The Monster’s Ring by Bruce Coville. It’s about this boy who buys a ring from a magic gift shop that allows him to turn into various degrees of monsters. Now as an adult, I’m not sure if I have a favorite book but I would highly recommend The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston for those interested in infectious diseases or general medical history. I read it recently and it’s an incredible recounting of the history of smallpox and how it was eventually eradicated.

Favorite quote

“Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man” – Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski

Can’t live without

My wife and dog (fur baby) are my home support system. It’s difficult to imagine a life without them. I’m vegetarian so tofu or falafel would be pretty tough to live without too.

If you weren’t in MSTP, what would you be doing now?

Probably completing my final year of residency. Had I not chosen medicine or a research career, though, I imagine I would have become an engineer. However, this route was always the right one for me and have no regrets whatsoever.

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