Principal Investigator

Melanie Rutkowski, PhDMelanie Rutkowski, PhD


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.

Lab Members

Tzu-Yu (Alkaid) FengTzu-Yu (Alkaid) Feng

Graduate Student

“I am interested in understanding how genetic polymorphisms and the tumor microenvironment influence the function of tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells.”

Former Lab Members

Francesca Zar – Laboratory Specialist
Carolina Gomez Grimaldi – Undergraduate Student
Reagan Bostic – Research Specialist
John Kearney – Laboratory Specialist
Magid Abdo – Undergraduate Student