Makedonka Mitreva, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Washington University School of Medicine
The Genome Institute at Washington University
4444 Forest Park Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63108
Telephone: (314) 286-2005
Fax: (314) 286-1810
Dr. Makedonka Mitreva joined Washington University School of Medicine in 2002 and currently serves as Associate Professor of Medicine and of Genetics. In addition to her faculty appointments, Dr. Mitreva is Assistant Director of The McDonnell Genome Institute, which is one of only three NIH funded large-scale sequencing centers in the United States. Dr. Mitreva received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia and a Ph.D. fromWageningen University RC in The Netherlands. Dr. Mitreva joined the faculty after completing a post-doc at the Genome Institute, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Mitreva’s current research takes advantage of next-generation genomic and computational approaches to empower the study of infectious diseases and the human microbiome.
There are two main threads to my current research.
- We have a sustained commitment to study neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). There are 17 parasitic and bacterial infections cause blindness, anemia, malnutrition, growth and development stunting in children, and severe morbidity and mortality during pregnancy in women.These infections can also increase the risk of co-infection with HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria. Their impact on health and socioeconomic status (mainly developing world) result in promoting and maintaining poverty, and as the United Nation secretary general recently stated “Poverty reduction and the elimination of NTDs go hand-in-hand”. Our work translates basic science advances in genomics into practical knowledge that contributes to control or elimination of helminth NTDs (including hookworm, ascaris and whipworm; and flukes, including major biological cancerogens). My lab takes advantage of next-generation genomic and computational approaches to study: i) taxonomically restricted and differentially represented pathways in parasites and their potential as targets for drug development, ii) helminth genetic variations in natural infections, iii) host response to parasite infections, iv) identification of candidate antigens for vaccine or serodiagnostis, v) molecular characterization of understudied parasite of global importance. Through comparative pan-omics systems biology analysis we have provided fundamental molecular information for these devastating parasites of major medical and global importance accelerating both basic and translational research.
- The second area of my research is focused on the human microbiome. My current efforts are to use targeted and shotgun sequencing of metagenomic communities of microbes to understand their biology. To study metagenomic communities through shotgun sequencing, advances in computational approaches and tools are needed therefore I develop new and improve existing computational tools that will allow precise identification and comparison of taxonomic structure and functional capability of microbial communities in a robust fashion. We use those tools to identify genes, pathways, and organisms within communities and use this information to determine what is common and variant among healthy and disease states, leading to identification of members or functions that are associated with different physiologic disease states.