Melchor, Stephanie (Ewald)

April 19, 2018 by seg2z@virginia.edu

Melchor, Stephanie (Ewald)

Graduate Student

Research Interest:

Cachexia is an incurable and deadly form of muscle wasting that is a major predictor of morbidity and mortality in many chronic inflammatory diseases, including cancer. Current studies of cachexia are limited by a lack of laboratory models that accurately replicate the disease in animals; however, my research group has discovered that Toxoplasma gondii infection in rodents results in a robust and reproducible form of cachexia that supersedes many of the limitations of existing models. We are using this model to understand how at different stages of infection, the cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1) either contributes to or prevents tissue level tolerance to Toxoplasma infection, ultimately resulting in cachexia and disease.