Markofski Research Group
Dr. Melissa Markofski studies the acute and chronic effects of healthy lifestyle activities (exercise, physical activity, and nutrition) on the immune system, skeletal muscle function, and aging. She has a specific interest in how exercise keeps our immune system optimally operating as we encounter diseases and as we age. Dr. Markofski uses molecular techniques and clinical and functional outcomes to develop evidence-based exercise and lifestyle strategies to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases and to promote healthy aging.
For example, many of the diseases typically associated with aging may not be related to aging per se, but rather age-associated changes in exercise and physical activity, nutrition, and body composition. Consequently, signaling pathways associated with inflammation and metabolism are affected by these changes. The modification of these signaling pathways can lead to an increased risk of chronic disease. Her lab is currently focused on how these factors impact cancer risk and recovery. For example, it is well accepted that the risk for colon cancer is reduced in people who are physically active, but the role of the immune system in this risk reduction is not completely understood.
Dr. Markofski is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance. She is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), International Society of Exercise and Immunology (ISEI), and American Physiological Society (APS).