Mary  Kearney, Ph.D.

Mary F. Kearney, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute


Dr. Kearney conducts research on the emergence of HIV drug resistance, the persistence of HIV during antiretroviral treatment (ART), and the sources of rebound viremia after stopping ART.  Her studies have demonstrated that a diverse population of HIV-infected cells persist during ART, that some infected cells proliferate despite ART, and that residual viremia during ART can result from viral expression from these cells.  Dr. Kearney heads the Translational Research Section, which aims to understand the genetics, evolution, and persistence of HIV and other RNA viruses and to design new approaches toward targeting and killing infected cells.  Currently, she also serves as a member of the NIH Women Scientists Advisors (WSA) Executive Committee and a member of the CCR WSA Committee; these groups promote career development and address issues affecting women scientists.  Dr. Kearney was appointed as HIV DRP Deputy Director of Translational/Clinical Research in 2021.

Areas of Expertise

1) drug resistance 2) viral persistence 3) HIV residual viremia 4) HIV cure 5) viral evolution 6) viral genetics


Selected Key Publications

Early emergence and long-term persistence of HIV-infected T-cell clones in children

Bale MJ, Katusiime MG, Wells D, Wu X, Spindler J, Halvas EK, Cyktor JC, Wiegand A, Shao W, Cotton MF, Hughes SH, Mellors JW, Coffin JM, Van Zyl GU, Kearney MF
mBio. 12: e00568-21, 2021. [ Journal Article ]

Combined HIV-1 sequence and integration site analysis informs viral dynamics and allows reconstruction of replicating viral ancestors

Patro SC, Brandt LD, Bale MJ, Halvas EK, Joseph KW, Shao W, Wu X, Guo S, Murrell B, Wiegand A, Spindler J, Raley C, Hautman C, Sobolewski M, Fennessey CM, Hu WS, Luke B, Hasson JM, Niyongabo A, Capoferri AA, Keele BF, Milush J, Hoh R, Deeks SG, Maldarelli F, Hughes SH, Coffin JM, Rausch JW, Mellors JW, Kearney MF
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 116: 25891-25899, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

HIV infected T cells can proliferate in vivo without inducing expression of the integrated provirus

Musick A, Spindler J, Boritz E, Pérez L, Crespo-Vélez D, Patro SC, Sobolewski MD, Bale MJ, Reid C, Keele BF, Capoferri A, Shao W, Wiegand A, Simonetti FR, Mellors JW, Hughes SH, Coffin JM, Maldarelli F, Kearney MF
Front Microbiol. 10: 2204, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

HIV-1 in lymph nodes is maintained by cellular proliferation during antiretroviral therapy

McManus WR, Bale MJ, Spindler J, Wiegand A, Musick A, Patro SC, Sobolewski MD, Musick VK, Anderson EM, Cyktor JC, Halvas EK, Shao W, Wells D, Wu X, Keele BF, Milush JM, Hoh R, Mellors JW, Hughes SH, Deeks SG, Coffin JM, Kearney MF
J. Clin. Invest. 130: 126714, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Single-cell analysis of HIV-1 transcriptional activity reveals expression of proviruses in expanded clones during ART

Wiegand A, Spindler J, Hong FF, Shao W, Cyktor JC, Cillo AR, Halvas EK, Coffin JM, Mellors JW, Kearney MF
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 114: E3659-E3668, 2017. [ Journal Article ]

Job Vacancies

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Elizabeth Anderson, Ph.D.
Predoctoral Fellow
Michael Bale, M.S.
Postbaccalaureate Fellow
Neeru Bhardwaj, Ph.D.
Special Volunteer
Cristina Ceriani, Ph.D.
Special Volunteer
Charles Coomer, M.Sc.
Summer Student
Monica Gouzoulis, B.S.
Summer Student
Jennifer Groebner, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Nicholas Johnson
Summer Student
Lina Josefsson, Ph.D.
Special Volunteer
William McManus, M.S.
Postbaccalaureate Fellow
Helene Mens, M.D., Ph.D.
Guest Researcher
Victoria Musick, B.S.
Summer Student
Aurelie Niyongabo, M.S.
Postbaccalaureate Fellow
Alex Scheltema
Summer Student
Tyler Snoots, B.S.
Summer Student
Anuradha Sreedhara
Summer Student
Sloane Yu, M.D., M.B.A.
Postbaccalaureate Fellow