Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Meghan   Rueda

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics

Mentor:  Dr. Ann Griffith

Email:  ruedam1@uthscsa.edu

ORCID iD:  https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3232-7270

Education

2019 PhD Molecular Immunology & Microbiology University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
2014 BS in Pre-Medical Biology University of Texas-Pan American (UTRGV)

Research

As a postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. Griffith's laboratory, I am interested in the unique lymphopoietic stromal microenvironment in the thymus. The thymus is a specialized primary lymphoid organ responsible for the generation and development of T cells, which play a central role in the immune response. However, as we age the thymus atrophies, resulting in decreased production of new naïve T cells. Homeostatic expansion of memory T cells compensates for decreasing T cell generation, resulting in an oligoclonal T cell pool with diminished T cell receptor (TCR) diversity. These age-associated changes can lead to decreased responses to vaccines and infections, and increased susceptibility to autoimmune disease. Our goal is to identify mechanisms governing age-induced thymic dysfunction in order to delay or reverse declines in T cell immunity in the elderly. 

Honors

2017 American Society for Microbiology Special Topics Talk Invitation
2017 American Society for Microbiology Outstanding Student Abstract Award
2017 Ford Foundation Fellowship Honorable Mention
2018 American Society of Parasitologists (ASP) Travel Award
2020 UT Health San Antonio SABER (IRACDA) Scholar (NIH K12), Postdoctoral Fellow

Professional Memberships

2013-2017 American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
2016-2019 American Society of Parasitologists (ASP)
2016-2019 Women in Science: Outreach, Development & Mentorship (WISDOM)

Publications

  1. Guzman, M.A., Rugel, A., Tarpley, R. S., Alwan, S.N., Chevalier, F.D., Kovalskyy, D.P., Cao, X., Holloway, S.P., Anderson, T.J.C., Taylor, A. B., McHardy, S. F., LoVerde, P.T. (2020). An iterative process produces oxamniquine derivatives that kill the major human species of schistosomes. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0008517.
  2. Rugel, A., Guzman, M.A., Taylor, A. B., Chevalier, F.D., Tarpley, R. S., McHardy, S. F., Cao, X., Holloway, S.P., Anderson, T.J.C., Hart, P.J., LoVerde, P.T. (2020). Why does oxamniquine kill Schistosoma mansoni and not S. haematobium and S. japonicum?. International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpddr.2020.04.001
  3. Guzman, M.A., Rugel, A., Tarpley, R. S., Cao, X., McHardy, S. F., LoVerde, P.T., Taylor, A. B. (2020). Molecular basis for hycanthone drug action in schistosome parasites. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. doi.org/10.1016/j.molbiopara.2020.111257
  4. Chevalier, F.D., Le Clec’h, W. McDew-White, M., Menon, V., Guzman, M.A., Holloway, S.P., . . Hart, J.P., LoVerde, P.T., Anderson, T.J.C. (2019). Oxamniquine resistance alleles are widespread in Old World Schistosoma mansoni and predate drug deployment. (2019) PLOS Pathogens. doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1007881
  5. Rugel, A., Tarpley, R. S., Lopez, A., Menard, T., Guzman, M. A., Taylor, A. B., . . McHardy, S. F. (2018). Design, Synthesis, and Characterization of Novel Small Molecules as Broad Range Antischistosomal Agents. ACS Med Chem Lett, 9(10), 967-973. doi:10.1021/acsmedchemlett.8b00257