Melanie Rutkowski, PhD

September 23, 2016 by

My PhD was focused on understanding how extrinsic factors, such as stress, influenced both the host immune response and pathogenesis of a normally indolent microorganism. As a postdoc, I wanted to understand how cancer shapes the systemic immune environment, in the context of adaptive immunity to oncogenic retroviruses or genetic immune deficiencies. Because of my experience studying the immune response to pathogens and cancer, my focus shifted towards understanding how commensal microbes influence immune function during systemic diseases such as cancer.