Makedonka Mitreva, PhD

Internal Medicine
Infectious Diseases

Computational and Systems Biology Program
Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program
Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program
Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Program

  • 314-286-2005

  • 4444 Forest Park Boulevard, St. Louis Mo, 63105




  • Genomics of Infectious Diseases, Helminth Genomics, Human Metagenomics

  • Next-generation experimental, multi-omic and computational approaches to empower the study of infectious diseases and the human microbiome

Research Abstract:

There are two main threads to our current research:

1. We have a sustained commitment to study neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). There are 20 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 of the affected populations (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) evolutionary genomics and genetic variations in natural infections, iii) host response to parasite infections, iv) identification of candidate antigens for vaccine or serodiagnostics, v) molecular characterization of understudied parasite of global importance. Through comparative systems biology analysis we provide fundamental molecular information for these devastating parasites of major medical and global importance accelerating both basic and translational research.

2. The second area of our research is focused on the human microbiome. We use targeted and shotgun metagenomic sequencing to study microbial communities, while developing new and/or improve existing computational tools to enable precise identification and comparison of taxonomic structure and functional capability of microbial communities in a robust fashion. By comparing microbiomes at taxonomic, genetic and metabolic level, and using machine learning classifiers we identify discriminatory characteristics that define healthy and disease states.

Mentorship and Commitment to Diversity Statement:
My interdisciplinary research portfolio is interfacing dry- and wet-lab based research done by computational and experimental biologists with expertise in genomics, genetics, microbiology, infectious diseases, evolutionary and population genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry, and systems biology. This diversity is reflected in my affiliation with 4 different DBBS programs: a) Computational and Systems Biology, b) Molecular Genetics and Genomics, c) Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis and d) Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology. I have mentored over 50 trainees, including undergraduate, graduate students (PhD, MA/MD, MD/PhD) and postdoctoral fellows. I have sustained commitment to provide fair and intellectually challenging environment that prepares trainees to become competitive next-generation scientists.

Selected Publications:

For the full list of publications from Mitreva lab in PubMed see:

Google Scholar:

News in the Mitreva lab:

Last Updated: 11/7/2022 10:39:08 PM

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