Melinda Beck, PhD
My laboratory studies the relationship between host nutrition and the immune response to infectious disease. Using a mouse model of obesity, we are exploring the mechanism(s) for high mortality from influenza infection in obese mice compared with lean mice. We also have an ongoing clinical research study designed to understand the mechanism(s) involved that impair the influenza vaccine response in obese adults compared with healthy weight adults. We have also demonstrated that host deficiencies in antioxidant nutrients can lead to viral mutations resulting in an avirulent pathogen becoming virulent, suggesting that the host nutritional status can be a driving force for the evolution of viruses.
Honors and AwardsCommeorativa Centenario del Natalicio de Pedro Kouri, medal given for outstanding contribution to science
2003, Instituto de Medicina Tropical â€œPedro Kouriâ, Havana, Cuba.E.L.R. Stockstad Award
2001, American Society for Nutritional Sciences Associate Editor, Experimental Biology and Medicine
NUTR 175, Intro to Food Studies: From Science to Society
NUTR 240, Introduction to Human Nutrition
NUTR 861, Advanced Nutritional Biochemistry: Nutrition & Immunology
- Infectious Disease
1H NMR-Based Profiling Reveals Differential Immune-Metabolic Networks during Influenza Virus Infection in Obese Mice. M Beck, T Ebbels, J Milner, J Saric, P Sheridan, J Wang (2014). PloS one, 9(5), e97238.
Obesity and influenza infection severity. Melinda Beck, J. Milner (2014). Future Virology, 9(3), 223-225.
Overweight and obese adult humans have a defective cellular immune response to pandemic H1N1 influenza A virus. M Beck, J Handy, M Hudgens, E Karlsson, T Noah, H Paich, S Schultz-Cherry, P Sheridan, S Weir (2013). Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.).
BA, Zoology, University of California, 1978
MS, Biological Sciences, California Polytechnic University, 1983
PhD, Microbiology/Immunology, The Ohio State University, 1987