Marzena E Pazgier


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Professor of Medicine
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
adaptive and innate response to viral disease, structural biology, antibody dependent cellular Cytoxicity, protein engineering, structure based design
infectious disease, HIV, SARS-CoV-2, antimicrobial agents, defensins
Office Phone


1996 MS Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Lodz University of Technology
2001 PhD, Chemical Engineering, Lodz University of Technology
2007, Postdoctoral Fellow, NIH, National Cancer Institute Macromolecular Crystallography Laboratory, Frederick, MD


Dr. Pazgier is a Professor in the Infectious Disease Division of the Department of Medicine. She holds additional appointments in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Emerging Infectious Disease and Molecular Cell Biology Graduate Programs of USU. Prior to joining USU, Dr. Pazgier was a faculty member of the Institute of Human Virology in the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD. She is a graduate of Lodz University of Technology, Poland in technical sciences and did her postdoctoral training in the structural biology of infectious disease at the Molecular Crystallography Laboratory in the National Cancer Institute, NIH at Frederick, MD.

Dr. Pazgier's research focuses on understanding mechanisms of molecular recognition in human disease with the goal to translate that knowledge into medical applications. This primarily takes the form of directing a substantial, extramurally funded research program in which her group applies structural biology by X-Ray crystallography and single particle cryo-EM, structure-function analysis and other biochemical and biophysical tools to elucidate the molecular basis of the mechanisms involved in disease and in host innate and adaptive responses with the ultimate goal of generating basic knowledge and developing new vaccines, small compounds or antibody/protein therapeutics. Dr. Pazgier's program is currently focused on three major areas that include antimicrobial action of defensins, HIV-1, and most recently SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Pazgier's research has been supported by extramural grants that include her multiple R01s, a collaborative P01 and many subawards within both national and international collaborations. The funding agencies funding her program include NIH, the VA, and recently also the Canadian Institutes of Health.

Representative publications, projects, and/or deployments

2022 - present, Professor, Infectious Diseases Division, Department of Medicine of F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, USU, Bethesda, MD

2022 - present, Professor, Department of Biochemistry of F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, USU, Bethesda, MD

2018 -2022, Associate Professor, Infectious Diseases Division, Department of Medicine of F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, USU, Bethesda, MD

2019-2022, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry of F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, USU, Bethesda, MD

2017-2018, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute of Human Virology, UMSOM, Baltimore, MD

2009-2017, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute of Human Virology, UMSOM, Baltimore, MD

2022, Impact Award, for outstanding contribution to the School of Medicine 2021-2022, USU, F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine

2021, John Maher Award for Research Excellence, USU, Department of Medicine

2017, Special Award for Outstanding Achievements and Productivity in the field of Basic Science and HIV Vaccine, Institute of Human Virology, UMSOM

2014, Early Career Investigator Recognition Award, Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


Chen Y, Sun L, Ullah I, Beaudoin-Bussières G, Anand SP, Hederman AP, Tolbert WD, Sherburn R, Nguyen DN, Marchitto L, Ding S, Wu D, Luo Y, Gottumukkala S, Moran S, Kumar P, Piszczek G, Mothes W, Ackerman MA, s Finzi A, Uchil PD, Gonzalez FJ, Pazgier M (2022) Engineered ACE2-Fc counters lethal murine SARS-CoV-2 infection through direct neutralization and Fc-effector activities, Sci Adv. 2022 Jul 15;8(28):eabn4188. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abn4188. Epub 2022 Jul 13. PMID: 35857504

Chen Y; Prévost J; Ullah I; Romero H; Lisi V; Tolbert WD; Grover JR; Ding S; Gong SJ; Beaudoin-Bussières G; Gasser R…..Sherburn R; Wu D; Piszczek G; Di Xia; Richard J; Kumar P; Mothes W; Côté M; Uchil PD; Lavallée V-P; Smith MA; Pazgier P*; Haddad E*; Finzi A* (2022) Molecular basis for antiviral activity of pediatric neutralizing antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 Spike receptor binding domain, iScience, . 2023 Jan 20;26(1):105783. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.105783. Epub 2022 Dec 9.

Tolbert WD, Subedi GP, Gohain N, Lewis GK, Patel KR, Barb AW, Pazgier M(2019) From Rhesus macaque to human: structural evolutionary pathways for Immunoglobulin G subclasses; mAb, DOI of your paper is: 10.1080/19420862.2019.1589852

Tolbert WD, Sherburn RT, Van V, Pazgier M (2019) Structural Basis for Epitopes in the gp120 Cluster A Region, the HIV Envelope Targets Involved in Potent Effector Cell Activity, Viruses, Jan 16;11(1)

Tolbert WD, Gohain N, Kremer PG, Hederman AP, Nguyen DN, Van V, Sherburn R, Lewis GK, Finzi A, Pollara J, Ackerman ME, Barb AW, Pazgier M. (2022) Decoding human-macaque interspecies differences in Fc-effector functions: The structural basis for CD16-dependent effector function in Rhesus macaques (2022) Front Immunol. 2022 Sep 5;13:960411. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.960411. eCollection 2022. PMID: 36131913.

Beaudoin-Bussières G, Chen Y, Ullah I, Prévost J, Tolbert WD, Symmes K, Ding S, Benlarbi M, Gong SY, Tauzin A, Gasser R, Chatterjee D, Vézina D, Goyette G, Richard J, Zhou F, Stamatatos L, McGuire AT, Charest H, Roger M, Pazharski E, Kumar P, Mothes W, Uchil P*, Pazgier M*, Finzi A* (2021) A Fc-enhanced NTD-binding non-neutralizing antibody delays virus spread and synergizes with a nAb to protect mice from lethal SARS-CoV-2 infection, Cell Rep. 2022 Feb 15;38(7):110368. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110368

Tolbert WD, Nguyen DN, Tuyishime M, Crowley AR, Chen Y, Jha Y, Goodman D, Bekker V, Mudrak SV, DeVico AL, Lewis GK, Theis JK, Pinter A, Moody AM, Easterhoff D, Wiehe K, Pollara J, Saunders KO, Tomaras GD, Ackerman M, Ferrari G, Pazgier M (2021) Structure and Fc-effector Function of Rhesusized Variants of Human Anti-HIV-1 IgG1s, Front Immunol. 2022 Jan 6;12:787603. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.787603.; PMID: 35069563

Sherburn R, Tolbert WD, Gottumukkala S, Hederman A, Stanfield-Oakley, Tuyishime M, Ferrari G, Finzi A, Ackerman MA, Pazgier M (2021) Incorporating the Cluster A and V1V2 targets into a minimal structural unit of the HIV-1 envelope to elicit a cross-clade response with potent Fc-effector functions, Vaccines, 9(9), 975; PMID: 34579212

Richard J, Nguyen DN, Tolbert WD, Gasser R, Ding S, Vézina D, Gong G, Prévost J, Gendron-Lepage G, Medjahed H, Gottumukkala S, Finzi A, Pazgier M (2021) Across functional boundaries: making non-neutralizing antibodies mediate ADCC and neutralize HIV-1” mBio. 28:e0140521. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01405-21, PMID: 34579568

Tolbert WD, Nguyen DN, Tehrani ZR, Sajadi MM and Pazgier M (2021) Near-Pan-neutralizing, Plasma Deconvoluted Antibody N49P6 mimics host receptor CD4 in its quaternary interactions with the HIV-1 Envelope trimer, mBio. 2021 Aug 31;12(4):e0127421. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01274-21. PMID: 34579568