Makedonka Mitreva, PhD

Professor of Medicine

Makedonka Mitreva, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Professor of Genetics in the Department of Genetics, Assistant Director at the McDonnell Genome Institute, and Co-Director at the Center for Clinical Genomics of Microbial Systems at Washington University School of Medicine.

She received her bachelor and master degrees at Ss Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje before receiving her PhD from Wageningen University and Research Centre. She became a research associate through Washington University School of Medicine in 2004. Dr. Mitreva is also a member of DBBS (Computational and Systems Biology Program, Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program and Molecular Microbiology and microbial pathogenesis), a member of ICTS and Academic Women’s Network. She is also a full member of the DDRCC and faculty scholar of IPH. She was a steering committee member of Microbial Genomics at TGI, and later became a Co-Director Center for Clinical Genomics of Microbial Systems (CC-GEMS). She completed the Academic Medical Leadership Development Program sponsored by Washington University and BJC in 2016. There are two main threads to Dr. Mitreva’s research; both take advantage of next- generation genomic andcomputational approaches to empower the study of infectious diseases and the human microbiome.

With the first area of research, she has addressed a serious deficiency in the helminth pathogenomics field by applying next-generation technologies and systems biology approaches to parasites of global importance (especially infections disproportionally affecting the world’s poorest populations Neglected Topical Diseases such as hookworm, whipworm, ascaris,filarial nematodes and food-borne trematodes). Her omics driven research has facilitated numerous collaborative studies (e.g. on proteome, variome, regulome), not feasible without the resource she has generated and the systems-biology approaches with which she assists the community (link to the world map). Her research goes beyond simple generation of omics data; moreover, through the characterization of genomes from these parasites and comparative omics analysis her work has had an immediate impact on both interspecific (pan-phylum) and intraspecific (single-species) investigations, and provides fundamental molecular information about these parasites, accelerating both basic and translational research. Specific projects relate to the following: studying evolution of parasitic nematode and platyhelminth genomes, stage and species-specific gene expression and regulation,antigen discovery to improve diagnostics, host response to infections, knowledge based omics driven drug targets and drug identification, population genomics, and building databases and analysis tools.

The other main thread of Dr. Mitreva’s research focuses on the human microbiome. Her lab studies the structure and the genetic/metabolic capability of the microbial communities and its influence on human health and diseases. As a member of the project leadership of the Human Microbiome Project, she has lead the Shotgun Metagenomics Working Group (22 institutions represented by over 80 participants) and was instrumental in developing approaches and tools used by the consortium to answer main questions related to conservation and diversification of structure/function of the micorbiomes associated with different habitats of healthy humans. Follow up studies focus on understanding dysbiosis associated with infections at multi-omics level. While she mainly uses computational approachesTo identify microbial genes, pathways and/or taxa that are associated with different physiologic disease states, her lab’s long-term goal is toexperimentally test/validate the findings that could ultimately facilitate progress towardsmicrobiome guided personalized medicine. Dr. Mitreva has published over 140 original research papers and 20 book chapters and/or invited review papers. Her research has been funded by various governmental and non-governmental funding agencies (including NIH, NIFA, USDA, NSF, BMGF).
Dr. Mitreva’ s publications

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