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