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Maura Statzu received her Ph.D. in Experimental Medicine in 2020 from Sapienza, University of Rome (Rome, Italy) under the supervision of Dr. Guido Antonelli. The focus of her project was to evaluate the role of Torque Teno Virus (TTV) as a predictive marker of CMV reactivation in patients receiving a solid organ transplantation (liver, kidney), and the correlation between CMV reactivation, TTV plasma viremia, and the INF-λ4 polymorphism. During her years at Sapienza, under the mentoring of Dr, Carolina Scagnolari, she was also involved in several projects focused on the analysis of type I-III IFN signature and Interferon stimulated genes expression in different infections, including HIV-1, HPV, West Nile virus, Usutu virus, and Zika virus.

In 2019 she joined Guido Silvestri lab at the Emory National Primate Research Center as a visiting research scholar, and started her post-doc in 2020 under the mentoring of Dr. Guido Silvestri and Dr. Deanna Kulpa. Her area of interest is focused on the identification of mechanism that promote HIV latency and maintenance using both in vitro and in vivo models. In the Paiardini lab, she is currently using SIV-infected macaques to investigate if the SMAC mimetic AZD5582 can be combined can be combined with the heterodimeric IL-15, which promotes the killing function of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells and natural killer (NK) cells, to reduce the seeding and establishment of the latent viral reservoir.

Maura Statzu

Post-doctoral Fellow

Maura Statzu



  • Ph.D. Experimental Medicine, Sapienza, University of Rome (Rome, Italy), 2016-2019

  • M.S. Genetics and Molecular Biology, Sapienza, University of Rome (Rome, Italy), 2013-2016

  • B.S. Experimental Biology, University of Cagliari (Cagliari, Italy), 2007-2012


  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Drs. Silvestri, Kulpa and Paiardini labs, Emory National Primate Research Center (Atlanta, GA), 2020-current

  • Visiting Research Scholar, Dr. Silvestri lab, Emory National Primate Research Center (Atlanta, GA), 2019-2020

  • Teaching Assistant, Sapienza, University of Rome (Rome, Italy), 2016-2019

  • PhD student in Experimental Medicine, Dr. Scagnolari lab, Sapienza, University of Rome (Rome, Italy), 2016-2019

Selected publications

  • Mutascio S, Mota T, Franchitti L, Sharma AA, Willemse A, Bergstresser SN, Wang H, Statzu M, Tharp GK, Weiler J, Sékaly RP, Bosinger SE, Paiardini M, Silvestri G, Jones RB, Kulpa DA. CD8+ T cells promote HIV latency by remodeling CD4+ T cell metabolism to enhance their survival, quiescence, and stemness. Immunity. 2023 Mar 29:S1074-7613(23)00130-9. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2023.03.010.  

  • Statzu M*, Jin W*, Fray EJ*, Wong AKH*, Kumar MR*, Ferrer E, Docken SS, Pinkevych M, McBrien JB, Fennessey CM, Keele BF, Liang S, Harper JL, Mutascio S, Franchitti L, Wang H, Cicetti D, Bosinger SE, Carnathan DG, Vanderford TH, Margolis DM, Garcia-Martinez JV, Chahroudi A, Paiardini M, Siliciano J, Davenport MP, Kulpa DA, Siliciano RS, Silvestri G. CD8+ lymphocytes do not impact SIV reservoir establishment under ART. Nat Microbiol. 2023 Feb;8(2):299-308. doi:10.1038/s41564-022-01311-9.  

  • Zanoni M, Palesch D, Pinacchio C, Statzu M, Tharp GK, Paiardini M, Chahroudi A, Bosinger SE, Yoon J, Cox B, Silvestri G, Kulpa DA. Innate, non-cytolytic CD8+ T cell-mediated suppression of HIV replication by MHC-independent inhibition of virus transcription. PLoS Pathog. 2020 Sep 17;16(9):e1008821. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1008821.

  • Statzu M, Santinelli L, Viscido A, Pinacchio C, Ceccarelli G, Rotondo C, Corano Scheri G, Mezzaroma I, Turriziani O, Antonelli G, d'Ettorre G, Scagnolari C. Increased SAMHD1 transcript expression correlates with interferon-related genes in HIV-1-infected patients. Med Microbiol Immunol. 2019 Oct;208(5):679-691. doi: 10.1007/s00430-018-0574-x

  • Maggi F, Focosi D, Statzu M, Bianco G, Costa C, Macera L, Spezia PG, Medici C, Albert E, Navarro D, Scagnolari C, Pistello M, Cavallo R, Antonelli G. Early Post-Transplant Torquetenovirus Viremia Predicts Cytomegalovirus Reactivations In Solid Organ Transplant Recipients. Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 19;8(1):15490. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-33909-7.

*These authors contributed equally

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