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Melissa  Markofski

Melissa Markofski, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Office Number: 133 MEL
Phone: 713.743.6658
Fax: 713.743.9860

Email: mmarkofs@Central.UH.EDU

Mailing Address:
3875 Holman St., Rm 104 Garrison
Houston, TX 77204-6015

Download Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Dr. Markofski's overarching research question is How do lifestyle factors, such as exercise, encourage healthy aging and reduce disease risk? We know that people who are physically active have a lower risk of chronic diseases and decreased mortality, but what are the mechanisms for this benefit? Dr. 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 particular interest on exercise, the immune system, and cancer.

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. Melissa Markofski is an exercise physiologist with a research agenda in exercise immunology. Her current projects encompass healthy research participants, cancer patients and survivors, and health disparities.

Recent Publications and Research Activity

(Selected publications from last five years. Full list in CV)
Graff RM, Jennings K, LaVoy EC, Warren VE, Macdonald BW, Park Y, Markofski MM. T-cell responses to acute cardiorespiratory or resistance exercise in cohorts of physically active or physically inactive older adults: A randomized complete crossover. J Appl Physiol. 2022 Jul 1;133(1):119-129. PMID: 35616304

Markofski MM, Jennings K, Hodgeman CF, Warren VE, and LaVoy EC. Physical activity during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is linked to better mood and emotion. Stress and Health. 2022 Aug 28(3):490-499. PMID: 34775682

Markofski MM and Flynn MG. Elevated circulating CD16+ monocytes and TLR4+ monocytes in older adults with multiple cardiometabolic disease risk factors. Exp Gerontol 2021 Oct 15(154):111530. PMID: 34450235

Elzayat MT, Markofski MM, Simpson RJ, Laughlin M, LaVoy E. No Effect of Acute Eccentric Resistance Exercise on Immune Responses to Influenza Vaccination in Older Adults: a Randomized Control Trial. Front in Physiol. 2021 Aug 12(12). PMID: 34456752.

Borack BS, Dickinson JM, Fry CS, Reidy PT, Markofski MM, Deer RR, Jennings K, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB. Effect of the lysosomotropic agent chloroquine on mTORC1 activation and protein synthesis in human skeletal muscle. Nutr & Metab. 2021 Jun 12;18(1):61. PMID: 34118944

Graff RM, Jennings K, Davies NA, Carrillo AE, LaVoy EC, Ryan EJ, and Markofski MM. (2021) A Short-Term Paleolithic Dietary Intervention Does Not Alter Adipokines Linked to Adiposity. Int J Exerc Sci. 2021 14(2):113-122. PMID: 34055149

Randolph AC, Markofski MM, Rasmussen BB, Volpi E. Effect of essential amino acid supplementation and aerobic exercise on insulin sensitivity in healthy older adults: A randomized clinical trial. Clin Nutr. 2020 May;39(5):1371-1378. PubMed PMID: 31307843.

Agha NH, Mehta SK, Rooney BV, Laughlin MS, Markofski MM, Pierson DL, Katsanis E, Crucian BE, Simpson RJ. Exercise as a countermeasure for latent viral reactivation during long duration space flight. FASEB J. 2020 Feb;34(2):2869-2881. PubMed PMID: 31908052.

Heenan KA, Carrillo AE, Fulton JL, Ryan EJ, Edsall JR, Rigopoulos D, Markofski MM, Flouris AD, Dinas PC. Effects of Nutrition/Diet on Brown Adipose Tissue in Humans: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2020 Sep 10;12(9) PubMed PMID: 32927664.

Mylabathula PL, Li L, Bigley AB, Markofski MM, Crucian BE, Mehta SK, Pierson DL, Laughlin MS, Rezvani K, Simpson RJ. Simulated microgravity disarms human NK-cells and inhibits anti-tumor cytotoxicity in vitro. Acta Astronautica. 2020 Sep; 174 (21-40).

Cho D, Basen-Engquist K, Acquati C, Pettaway C, Ma H, Markofski M, Li Y, Canfield SE, Gregg J, McNeill LH. Cultural Adaptation of Evidence-Based Lifestyle Interventions for African American Men With Prostate Cancer: A Dyadic Approach. Am J Mens Health. 2020 Nov-Dec; 14(6):1557988320945449. PubMed PMID: 33148111.

Agha NH, Baker FL, Kunz HE, Spielmann G, Mylabathula PL, Rooney BV, Mehta SK, Pierson DL, Laughlin MS, Markofski MM, Crucian BE, Simpson RJ. Salivary antimicrobial proteins and stress biomarkers are elevated during a 6-month mission to the International Space Station. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2020 Feb 1;128(2):264-275. PubMed PMID: 31751178.

Markofski MM, Jennings K, Dolan C, Davies NA, LaVoy EC, Ryan EJ, Carrillo AE. Single-Arm 8-Week Ad Libitum Self-Prepared Paleo Diet Reduces Cardiometabolic Disease Risk Factors in Overweight Adults. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 2019 August 02.

Markofski MM, Jennings K, Timmerman KL, Dickinson JM, Fry CS, Borack MS, Reidy PT, Deer RR, Randolph A, Rasmussen BB, Volpi E. Effect of aerobic exercise training and essential amino acid supplementation for 24 weeks on physical function and muscle metabolism in healthy, independent older adults: a randomized clinical trial. J Gerontol Med Sci. Epub 2019 Sept 15;74(10):1598-1604. PMID: 29750251

Brightwell C, Markofski MM, Moro T, Fry C, Porter C, Volpi E, Rasmussen B. Moderate Intensity Aerobic Exercise Improves Skeletal Muscle Quality in Older Adults. Translational Sports Med. 2019 April 2(3):109-119. PMID: 31123725

Carrillo AE, Markofski MM, Flynn MG. Elevated inflammatory status and increased risk of chronic disease in chronological aging: Inflamm-aging or inflamm-inactivity? Aging and Disease. 2019 Feb 1;10(1):147-156. PMID: 30705775

Graff RM, Kunz HE, Agha NH, Baker FL, Laughlin M, Bigley AB, Markofski MM, LaVoy EC, Katsanis E, Bond RA, Bollard CM, Simpson RJ. β2-Adrenergic receptor signaling mediates the preferential mobilization of differentiated subsets of CD8+ T-cells, NK-cells and non-classical monocytes in response to acute exercise in humans. Brain Behav Immun. 2018 Nov;74:143-153. PMID: 30172948

Gupta P, Bigley AB, Markofski M, Laughlin M, LaVoy EC. Autologous serum collected 1 h post-exercise enhances natural killer cell cytotoxicity. Brain Behav Immun. 2018 Jul;71:81-92. PMID: 29656052


B.S. in Kinesiology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 2000

M.S. in Kinesiology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 2004

Ph.D. in Health & Kinesiology at Purdue University, 2010