Melissa Maginnis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences and Associate Director of the Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) at the University of Maine. She is a virologist, and her laboratory is focused on understanding the cellular and molecular basis of viral disease. Defining how viruses recognize and invade cells within the host can ultimately elucidate targets for novel antiviral therapies to prevent or treat viral illnesses.
Melissa has served as the Lead of the University of Maine System COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Board since April to guide a team of University of Maine and University of Southern Maine researchers to provide science-based evidence for the safe planning of the potential future of the University of Maine System.
Melissa was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and earned her B.S. in Biological Sciences from Neumann College, as a first-generation college student. She earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Vanderbilt University and performed postdoctoral training at Brown University.
“My research program is focused on viral disease, a significant human health issue, which also provides excellent student training opportunities,” says Maginnis. “We now all understand the impact that viruses can have on human health and our lives in general due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is critical that we continue to research viral disease so that we can advance our knowledge in this area to be prepared for future viral outbreaks.”