Dr. Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz, PhD head shot

Contact Info

AZ Biomedical Collaborative 1
Room Number
Associate Professor
College of Medicine Phx Basic Medical Sciences

Lab Website

Dr. Herbst-Kralovetz was the Oncology Block director at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix campus from 2014 – 2017 and the Hematology and Oncology Block director from 2010 – 2014.


  • Postdoctoral: Emphasis on Mucosal Vaccine Development, the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, 2006 – 2008.
  • PhD: Experimental Pathology Program, University of Texas Medical Branch, 2006.


  • Ilhan ZE, Laniewski P, Tonachio A, Herbst-Kralovetz MM. Members of Prevotella genus distinctively modulate innate immune and barrier functions in a human three-dimensional endometrial epithelial cell model. J Infect Dis. 2020. PMID: 32515473.
  • Laniewski P, Ilhan ZE, Herbst-Kralovetz MM. The microbiome and gynaecological cancer development, prevention and therapy. Nat Rev Urol. 2020. PMID: 32071434.
  • Muzny CA, Laniewski P, Schwebke JR, Herbst-Kralovetz MM. Host-vaginal microbiota interactions in the pathogenesis of bacterial vaginosis. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2019. PMID: 31789672.
  • Gardner J, Laniewski P, Knight A, Haddad LB, Swaims-Kohlmeier A, Herbst-Kralovetz MM. IL-36gamma is elevated in cervicovaginal epithelial cells in women with bacterial vaginosis and in vitro after infection with microbes associated with bacterial vaginosis. J Infect Dis. 2019. PMID: 31586390.
  • Gardner JK, Swaims-Kohlmeier A, Herbst-Kralovetz MM. IL-36gamma is a key regulator of neutrophil infiltration in the vaginal microenvironment and limits neuroinvasion in genital HSV-2 infection. J. Immunol. 2019. PMID: 30118914.

For a complete listing of Dr. Herbst-Kralovetz's publications, search PubMed.

Research Interests

Host-microbe interactions and 3D biomimetic modeling; vaginal microbiome and sexually transmitted infections; cancer and microbiome

Research Summary

Dr. Herbst-Kralovetz is broadly interested in understanding innate mucosal immune responses to resident bacteria, pathogens and microbial products at mucosal sites, including the female reproductive tract (FRT). Her lab is interested in studying the mucosal barrier function of the FRT and its role in host defense and maintaining mucosal homeostasis, which is widely relevant to infection and immunity, microbiome, reproduction and even cancer. She has a long-standing interest in women’s health. Videos: Meet Our ResearchersUnlocking Mysteries in Women's Health; Exploring Bad Bugs and Good Bugs in Cancer Research.