Melissa G. Marko, PhD

Melissa G. Marko PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences


BS, Life Science, Pennsylvania State University

BS, Nutrition Science, Pennsylvania State University

MS, Cell and Molecular Nutrition, Tufts University

PhD, Cell and Molecular Nutrition, Tufts University

Post Doctoral Fellow, Georgetown University

Teaching Post Doctoral Fellow, University of the Sciences

Research Interests

Role of antioxidants and dietary supplements in cell signaling and mechanisms of health promotion

Bioengineering of Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cervisiae


Current research is focusing on the cellular mechanisms of antioxidants and dietary supplements on health promotion using an in vitro mammalian cell system.  Focus is being placed on the evaluation of natural products that have health claims in preventing weight gain and obesity. 

Another area of research is on the biosynthetic pathway of the antioxidant carnosic acid found in the herb Rosmarinus officinalis or rosemary. Techniques in cellular and molecular biology are used to elucidate the biosynthetic pathway of carnosic acid from plant tissue, insertion of genes into genetically tractable microbial hosts, such as the bacteria Escherichia coli and the yeast Saccharomyces cervisiae, and the evaluation of the resulting bioengineered products.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Basic Nutrition
  • Cell Biology Methods Lecture and Laboratory
  • General Biology Laboratory
  • Microbiology Laboratory
  • Microbial Physiology Lecture and Laboratory

Selected Scholarly Activity

Chakrabarty S, Croft MS, Marko MG, Moyna G. Synthesis and evaluation as potential anticancer agents of novel tetracyclic indenoquinoline derivatives. Bioorg Med Chem 21 (5): 1143-9. 2013

Molano A, Huang Z, Marko MG, Azzi A, Wu D, Wang E, Kelly SL, Merrill AH Jr, Bunnell SC, Meydani SN. Age-dependent changes in the sphingolipid composition of mouse CD4+ T cell membranes and immune synapses implicate glucosylceramides in age-related T cell dysfunction. PLoS One.7 (10): e47650. 2012

Marko M, Pang H-J E, Ren Z, Azzi A, Huber BT, Bunnell SC, Meydani SN. Vitamin E reverses impaired linker for activation of T cells activation in T cells from aged C57BL/6 mice. J Nutr. 139 (6): 1192-1197, 2009.

Marko M, Ahmed T, Bunnell SC, Wu D, Chung H, Huber BT, Meydani SN. Age-associated decline in effective immune synapse formation of CD4+ T cells is reversed by vitamin E supplementation. J Immunol. 178: 1443-1449, 2007.

Liu L, Zubik L, Collins FW, Marko M, Meydani M. The antiatherogenic potential of oat phenolic compounds. Atherosclerosis. 175 (1): 39-49, 2004.

Wu D, Marko M, Claycombe K, Paulson KE, Meydani SN. Ceramide-induced and age-associated increase in macrophage COX-2 expression is mediated through up-regulation of NF-kappa B activity. J Biol Chem. 278 (13): 10983-10992, 2003. 

Tremain R, Marko M, Kinnimulki V, Ueno H, Bottinger E, Glick A. Defects in TGFβ Signaling Overcome Senescence of Mouse Keratinocytes Expressing v-rasHa. Oncogene 19: 1698-1709, 2000.

Wang D, Marko M, Dahl A, Engelke K, Placke M, Imondi A, Mulshine J, De Luca L. Topical Delivery of 13-cis Retinoic Acid by Inhalation Upregulates Expression of Rodent Lung, but not Liver Retinoic Acid Receptors. Clinical Cancer Research 6: 3636-3645, 2000.

Diamond I, Owolabi T, Marko M, Lam C, Glick A. Tetracycline Regulated Conditional Gene Expression in the Mouse Epidermis. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology 115 (5): 788-794, 2000.

Contact Information

Office location: McNeil Science & Technology Center, Room 277
Mailing address: University of Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Office Phone: 215.596.7437
Office Fax: 215.596.8710

m [dot] marko [at] usciences [dot] edu