Melissa M. Herbst-Kralovetz


University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix ABC-1 Building 425 North 5th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Associate Professor & Director, Women's Health Research Program
Associate Professor - Basic Medical Sciences
Associate Professor - Obstetrics & Gynecology
Director, Women's Health Research Program - Obstetrics & Gynecology
Basic Medical Sciences; Obstetrics & Gynecology; Obstetrics & Gynecology


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: Mucosal Vaccine Development, Arizona State University, The Biodesign Institute, 2008
  • PhD: Experimental Pathology, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Sealy Center for Development, 2006

Representative Recent Publications

  • Łaniewski P, Ilhan ZE & Herbst-Kralovetz MM (2020). The microbiome and gynaecological cancer development, prevention and therapy. Nat Rev Urol. Vol. 17(4), 232-250.
  • Gardner JK, Łaniewski P, Knight A, Haddad LB, Swaims-Kohlmeier A & Herbst-Kralovetz MM (2020). Interleukin-36γ 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. Vol. 221(6), 983-988.
  • Muzny CA, Łaniewski P, Schwebke JR & Herbst-Kralovetz MM (2020). Host-vaginal microbiota interactions in the pathogenesis of bacterial vaginosis. Curr Opin Infect Dis. Vol. 33(1), 59-65.
  • Gardner JK, Swaims-Kohlmeier A & Herbst-Kralovetz MM (2019). IL-36γ Is a Key Regulator of Neutrophil Infiltration in the Vaginal Microenvironment and Limits Neuroinvasion in Genital HSV-2 Infection. J Immunol. Vol. 203(10), 2655-2664.
  • Wilkinson EM, Łaniewski P, Herbst-Kralovetz MM & Brotman RM (2019). Personal and Clinical Vaginal Lubricants: Impact on Local Vaginal Microenvironment and Implications for Epithelial Cell Host Response and Barrier Function. J Infect Dis. Vol. 220(12), 2009-2018.
Research Interests
Cervical Cancer, Vaginal microbiome and sexually transmitted infections, Immunology, Host-microbe interactions and 3D biomimetic modeling
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, immunity, reproduction and even cancer. She has a long-standing interest in women’s health.