Alcendor, Donald J
Associate Professor
  • : 615-327-6449

Division of Microbiology & Immunology & Obstetrics & Gynecology
Meharry Medical College



Southern University, B.S., Microbiology (Honors)


Louisiana State University, M.S., Microbiology


University California, Davis, Ph.D. Microbiology/Molecular Virology



Dr. Alcendor completed his post-graduate studies at the NIH and Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore Maryland indepartments of Molecular Virology and Viral Oncology respectively. Dr. Alcendor was also a research consultant to the Viral Vector Core Laboratory in Viral Oncology, at Johns Hopkins, and a Simian Cytomegalovirus Expert for the FDA, Division of Vaccine Injury and Compensation Program for the Department of Health and Human Services in Rockville, Maryland. He is a mentor for the FDA Office of Minority Health, Health Disparities Fellowship. He has also selected as a Minority Scholar in Cancer Research by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). He received the Nashville Business Journal Health Care Hero Award in Research. He is also a committee member on the independent Research Evaluation and Decision Panel (REDP) for the AIDS Cancer and Specimen Resource of the NCI-AIDS Malignancy Program. He is a Brain-on-chip investigator in partnership with Vanderbilt and the Cleveland Clinic. He was recently funded to develop the Blood-Retinal-Barrier on a Chip with implications for ocular disease. He is a Research Liaison for FDA Office of Minority Health MOU with Meharry Medical College. He is a consultant and voting member on the FDA Antiviral Drug Advisory Committee. Dr. Alcendor research interest involves KSHV Regulation of Fibulins in Kaposi’s sarcoma: Implications for the Role of Extracellular Matrix Proteins in Tumorigenesis (AIDS related malignancy); and Models for Cytomegalovirus Induced Congenital Disease and its impact on the blood-brain and retinal barriers.

Keywords: KSHV, Kaposi’s sarcoma, AIDS, AIDS related malignancies, extracellular matrix, galectins, Blood-brain-barrier, Blood Retinal-Barrier, microfluidics,

Research Interest

Professional Activities:

2012-2017 Special Government Employee (SGE) Food & Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) Consultant to the FDA Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee
2012-2017 External Associate of the Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education (VIIBRE) Vanderbilt University Medical Center
7/2012-present Human Brain on-a-Chip Investigator: Neurovascular Unit on a Chip: Chemical Communications, Drug and Toxin Responses, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) PI: John Wikswo, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
1/2012-present Principal Investigator and Interim Project Director for “Project SAVED” Meharry Medical College, Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research Funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
2012-present Director of the Community Outreach-Core, Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research, Meharry Medical College
5/31/2012-present Associate Professor, Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Meharry Medical College
11/2005 - 2012 Assistant Professor, Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Meharry Medical College
11/2010 - present Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Meharry Medical College
1/2009 - present Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Cancer Biology Vanderbilt University Medical Center
9/2011 - present Program Faculty, Microbial Pathogenesis Program Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Original Articles and Invited Reviews

  1. Barry, P.A., Pratt-Lowe, Alcendor, D.J., E. Unger, and Paul Luciw 1990. Molecular interactions between human immunodeficiency virus type I and human cytomegalovirus Ann. New York Acad. Sci. 616: 54-63.
  2. Barry, P.A., Pratt-Lowe, E., Unger, R.E., Marthas, M., Alcendor, D.J., and Luciw, P.A.1990. Molecular interactions of rhesus cytomegalovirus and the human and simian immunodeficiency viruses. J. Med. Primatol. 19:327-337.
  3. Alcendor, D. J., Ph.D. Dissertation: 1992. Structure and Function of the Rhesus Cytomegalovirus Immediate Early Gene, University of California, Davis.
  4. Alcendor, D. J, Barry P.A, Pratt-Lowe E, Luciw PA. 1993. Analysis of the rhesus cytomegalovirus immediate early gene promoter. Virology; 194: 815-21.
  5. Alcendor, D. J, Chapman GD, Beaman BL. 1995. Isolation, sequencing and expression of the superoxide dismutase-encoding gene (sod) of Nocardia asteroides strain GUH-2. Gene. 164: 143- 145.
  6. Barry, PA, Alcendor, D. J, Power, MD, Kerr, H, and Luciw PA. 1996. Nucleotide sequence and molecular analysis of the rhesus cytomegalovirus immediate-early gene and the UL121-117 open reading frame. Virology; 215: 61-72.
  7. Micheals, MG, Alcendor, D. J, St. George, K, Rinaldo, Jr. C. R, Ehrlich, G. D, Becich, M. J, and Hayward G. S. 1997. Distinguishing baboon cytomegalovirus from human cytomegalovirus: Importance for xenotransplantation. J. Inf. Dis. 176: 1476-1483.
  8. Nicholas, J, Zong, J, Alcendor, D. J, Ciufo, D, Poole, L. J, Sarisky, R. T, Chiou, C. J, Zhang, X, Wan, X, Guo, H. G., Reitz, and Hayward G. S, 1998. Novel organizational features, captured cellular genes, and strain variability within the genome of KSHV/HHV8. JNCI 23: 79-88.
  9. Richman K. L., Montali R.J., Garber R.L., Kennedy M.L., Lehnhardt, J., Hildebrandt T., Schmitt D., Alcendor D.J., and Hayward G.S. 1999. Novel endotheliotropic herpesviruses fatal for asian and african elephants. Science. 5405: 1171-1176.
  10. Zong, JC, Ciufo DM, Alcendor D. J, Wan X, Nicholas J, Browning P, Rady P, Orenstein JM, Rabkin C, Su IJ, and GS Hayward. 1999. High level variability in the ORF-K1 membrane protein gene at the left end of the kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus genome defines four major virus subtypes and multiple variants or clades in different human populations J. Virology. 73: 4156-4170.
  11. Zong JC, Ciufo DM, Alcendor D. J, Browning P, Rady P, Orenstein JM, Su IJ, Rabkin C, and GS Hayward. 1999. Comparison of genetic variability at multiple loci across the genomes of major subgroups of kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus reveals evidence for recombinantion and for two distinct types of open reading frame K15 alleles at the right-hand ends. J. Virology. 73: 6646- 6660.
  12. Wu F.Y., Ahn J.H., Alcendor D.J., Jang W.J., Hayward S.D., Hayward G.S., 2001. Origin- independent assembly of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus DNA replication compartments in transient cotransfection assays and association with the ORF-K8 protein and cellular PML. J. Virol.75:1487-1506.
  13. Arav-Boger, R., Zong, J.C., Alcendor, D.J., RR.F., Pass. R. and Hayward G. S., 2002. Polymorphisms of the Cytomegalovirus (CMV)- encided tumor necrosis factor alpha and beta chemokine receptors in congenital CMV disease. J. Inf. Dis., 186:1057-64
  14. Chiou C. J R, Poole L., Kim P.S., Ciufo D.M., Cannon J.S., Ap Rhys C.M., Alcendor, D.J Zong J.C., Ambinder R.F., and Hayward G. S., 2002. Patterns of gene expression and a transactivation function exhibited by the vGCR (ORF74) chemokine receptor protein of kaposi’s sarcoma – associated herpesvirus J. Virol. 76:3421-3439.
  15. Davison, A.J., Dolan, A., Akter, P., Addison, C., Dargan, D.J., Alcendor, D.J., McGeoch, D.J., and Hayward, G.S. (2003). The Human Cytomegalovirus Genome Revisited: Comparison with the Chimpanzee Cytomegalovirus Genome. J Gen Virol. 84: 17-28.
  16. D.J., Zong R. Arav-Boger, Alcendor DJ., and Hayward G.S. (2007). Reflections on the interpretations of heterogenity and strain differences based on very limited PCR sequence data from Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus. A review. J. Clin. Viro. 40: pp 1-8.
  17. Hildreth J.E.K, and Alcendor D. (2009). Mayo Clinic HIV eCurriculum Series: In Essentials of HIV Medicine, The Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS. Mayo Clinic Foundation for Medical Education and Research. p. 1-20.
  18. Alcendor DJ, Zong JC, Dolan A, Davidson A, and Hayward GS. 2009. Patterns of evolutionary divergence in the rapidly evolving vCXC and vGPCR gene clusters in primate cytomegalovirus genomes. Virology 365: 21-32. PMCID: PMC2846823.
  19. Alcendor DJ, Knobel, S. (2010). Identifying dysregulated genes induced by Kaposi’s sarcoma- associated herpesvirus (KSHV). J. Vis. Exp Sep 14; (43). pii: 2078. doi: 10.379/2078.
  20. Link:
  21. Hayward, G.S, Alcendor DJ., and Boger RA (2010). In Viral Oncology: Basic Science and Clinical Applications (Book), The Role of KSHV in Pathogenesis of Kaposi’s Sarcoma: Jeang KT and K. Kalili eds. Vers. 8. 377-407.
  22. Alcendor DJ, Knobel S, Desai P, Zhu WQ, Vigil HE, and Hayward GS. 2010. KSHV downregulation of galectin-3 in kaposi’s sarcoma. Glycobiology, 20(5):521-32. PMCID: PMC2900887.
  23. Alcendor DJ, Knobel S, Zhu WQ, Desai P, and Hayward GS. 2010. KSHV regulation of fibulins in Kaposi’s sarcoma: Implications for tumorigenesis. Infect Agent Cancer 5(Suppl1):doi:10.1186/1750-9378-5-S1-A50. PMCID: PMC3002711.
  24. Alcendor DJ, Knobel S Desai P. Zhu W. and Hayward GS. (2011). KSHV Regulation of Fibulin-2 in Kaposi’s Sarcoma: Implications for tumorigenesis Am. J. Pathol. 179: 1443-1454. PMCID: PMC3157165.
  25. Alcendor, D. J, and Hayward G. S. 2011. In Springer Verlag Index of Viruses: "Cytomegalovirus (Betaherpesviridae)" 2nd edC. Tidona, G. Darai (eds.) The Springer Index of Viruses, pp. 1-12.
  26. Alcendor DJ: 30 Years Later: HIV/AIDS in America, September Issue (2011) “Diverse Issues in Higher Education” pp. 16-18.
  27. Alcendor DJ: AIDS Remains Public Health Challenge 30 Years After its Discovery, “Diverse Issues in Higher Education, by B. Denise Hawkins, September 30,
  28. Marrs C. N., Zhu W. Q, Sweet S., Chaudhry A., Alcendor DJ. (2012). Evidence forGardnerella Vaginalis uptake and internalization by squamous vaginal epithelial cells: Implications for the pathogenesis of bacterial vaginosis Microbes and Infect. 14: 500-508.PMCID: PMC3691009
  29. Alcendor DJ, Charest A. M, Knobel S.M., and Zhu WQ. (2012) Infection and upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines in brain vascular pericytes by human cytomegalovirus. J. Neuroinflammation 9:95.
  30. Alcendor DJ, Block FE, Cliffel DE, Daniels JS, Ellacott KLJ, Goodwin CR, Hofmeister LJ, Li D, Markov DA, May JC, McCawley LJ, McLaughlin B, McLean JA, Niswender KD, Pensabene V, Seale KT, Sherrod SD, Sung H, Tabb DL, Webb DJ, Wikswo JP (2013) Neurovascular Unit on a Chip: Implications for Translational Applications. Stem Cell Res. Ther. 4 (Suppl 1):S18.
  31. Mack Hall III and Donald Alcendor (2014) Evaluation of the Health Disparity in Bacterial Vaginosis and the Implications for HIV-1 Acquisition in African American Women (manuscript in preparation).
  32. Alcendor DJ, and Knobel SM. 2011. KSHV Dysregulation of the Extracellular Protein Tropoelastin in Kaposi’s sarcoma (submitted September 2014).
  33. Alcendor DJ, Wilkerson I, and Sheibani N. (2012) Retinal Pericytes and Cytomegalovirus Infectivity: Implications for both CMV Induced Retinopathy and Congenital Ocular Disease (submitted October 2014)
  34. Small A, Chaudhry AR, Knobel SM, Ladson G. Alcendor DJ. Expression of Fibulins and HOAX11 in Vaginal Epithelium from Women of Diverse Ethnicity: Implications for Racial Disparities in Pelvic Organ Prolapse (manuscript in preparation to be submitted Spring 2015).

Books Chapters

  1. Alcendor, D. J, and Hayward G. S. 1999. In Encyclopedia of Virology: "Animal Cytomegalovirus (Herpesviridae)" 2nd ed. 357-363. (written and CD-ROM versions available).
  2. Alcendor, D. J, and Hayward G. S. 2001. In Springer Verlag Index of Viruses: "Cytomegalovirus (Betaherpesviridae)" 1st ed. 156-162 (both written and online versions as well as CD-ROM available).
  3. Alcendor, D. J, and Hayward G. S. 2006. In Encyclopedia of Virology: "Cytomegalovirus (Herpesviridae) Simian Cytomegaloviruses" 3rd ed. (written and CD-ROM versions available).
  4. Alcendor, D. J, and Hayward G. S. 2008. In Encyclopedia of Virology: "Cytomegalovirus (Herpesviridae) Simian Cytomegaloviruses" 3rd ed. pp 634-643. (written and CD-ROM versions available).
  5. Alcendor, D. J, and Hayward G. S. 2012. In Springer Verlag Index of Viruses: "Cytomegalovirus (Betaherpesviridae)" 2nd ed. pp 681-69.

Radio Interviews related to HIV/AIDS

  1. Featured comments from Meharry Medical College Investigator: Donald J. Alcendor PhD, in “National Public Radio (NPR)”: “Nashville researchers get big grant to develop microbrain”, July 30, 2012
  2. Dr. Carol Show, Guest: Donald J. Alcendor: Segment 1: HIV/AIDS and Kaposi’s sarcoma, Segment 2: Community Outreach: Meharry’s HIV Center “HIV /AIDS Awareness Summit for Teens.” (Radio broadcast WNAH) September 13, 2011 from 3-4 PM. Search archives at
  3. Blog-Talk-Radio with Gary C. Booker, Atlanta GA, Interview with Donald J. Alcendor PhD, “Denialist and HIV/AIDS”, August 12, 2008.
  4. Nashville Public Radio: Interview Donald J. Alcendor PhD, “HIV/AIDS in the African American Community” with Christine Buttorff NPR radio. August 2008.
  5. Nashville Public Radio: Interview Donald J. Alcendor PhD, “Bacterial Vaginosis and Increased Risks for HIV-1 Acquisition” with Christine Buttorff NPR radio. August 2008.
  6. Guest Speaker on “Talk Radio W93, Chattanooga” Research at Meharry Medical College involving HIV AIDS in the African American Community” May 1, 2007.

Community Activities related to HIV/AIDS:

  • Invited Speaker: Health Awareness Initiative “HIV/AIDS Prevention and Awareness” Sponsored by Edmonson Chapel Church, Antioch TN, October 26, 2014.
  • Invited Speaker: The 3rd Annual HIV/AIDS Awareness Summit for Teens, “What you need to know about HIV/AIDS” Sponsored by Project SAVED, Meharry Alumni Hall Nashville TN, June 27, 2013.
  • Invited Speaker: BSMD Program, “What you need to know about HIV/AIDS” Sponsored by Project SAVED, Meharry HIV Center Conference Room, Nashville TN, June 20, 2013.
  • Invited Speaker: The 1st Annual Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Community Awareness Day Program, The National Consortium of Black Women in Ministry, Claiborne Family of Faith Worship Center, Nashville TN, March 10, 2013.
  • Invited Speaker: Meharry Translational Research Center Community Advisory Board: Capacity Building for HIV Prevention, Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, conference Room B, Meharry Medical College, May 31, 2012.
  • Invited Speaker: Middle Tennessee Funeral Directors and Morticians Associations: What You Need to Know About HIV/AIDS, 3 CME Credits, Meharry Medical College, May 5, 2012.
  • Invited Speaker: A Frank Discussion on HIV/AIDS, Sponsor by Project SAVED: The Claiborne Family of Faith Worship Center: Focus on Youth, April 15, 2012, Nashville, TN.
  • Invited Speaker: HIV/AIDS/In service: Wilson Central High School, National Strategy on HIV/AIDS and What you need to know about HIV/AIDS, February 24, 2012, Lebanon, TN.
  • Invited Speaker: Jack & Jill Teen Lock-In: Sponsored by Meharry Medical College: “Project Save” “What Teen need to Know about HIV/AIDS, October 29, 2011 Nashville, TN.
  • The 1st HIV/AIDS Awareness Summit for Teens: Sponsored by Donald Alcendor and Walter Braden,Keynote Speaker: Donald Alcendor, Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research Conference Room, Meharry Medical College, June 25, 2011.
  • SEPA Health Messaging and Media Workshops: Sessions on HIV/AIDS information and research withFeatured Speaker: Donald J. Alcendor, Center for AIDS health Disparities Research, Meharry Medical College, Nashville TN, August 2011.
  • Invited Speaker: Community Tours of the HIV Center and Presentations made to High schools (Mount Juliet HS, Hillwood HS and others as well as undergraduates from FISK and TSU Universities entitled: “What you need to know about HIV/AIDS”. September 2008-present.
  • Invited Speaker: in breakout session: Metro Public Health Public Health Department, Nashville United to Stop TB in the African American Community.” Nashville Rescue Mission, Nashville TN, February 22, 2009.
  • Invited Speaker: Community Tours of the HIV Center and Presentations made to undergraduates from FISK and TSU Universities entitled: “What you need to know about HIV/AIDS”. July and August 2008.
  • Invited Speaker: Community presentation: Magnet Academy of Cultural Arts, “What you need to know about HIV” St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, December 9, 2008.


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