About Carly Amato-Menker
In Dr. Jennifer Franko’s lab, we study sex differences in immune responses. Women are less likely to develop infections and have a stronger antibody response to vaccination, but in turn are much more likely to develop autoimmune and autoinflammatory disorders. My research is specifically focused on the influence of the gut microbiome and sex chromosome complement (XX or XY sex chromosomes) on humoral immune responses. Our primary experimental model is the Four Core Genotype mouse model, in which gonadal sex (male or female) is independent of sex chromosome complement (XX or XY), allowing us to compare and contrast immune responses of XX females, XY females, XX males, and XY males. Using this model, I aim to decipher mechanisms by which sex chromosomes and gut microbiome influence antibody production and thereby contribute to immune sex dimorphisms.
Prior to my graduate studies, I worked in the field of transplant histocompatibility for 12 years and earned my Masters degree in Biotechnology at Johns Hopkins University. After completion of the Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis PhD program at WVU, I hope to pursue a career in both a research and clinical laboratory role in transplant immunology. My research at WVU may help provide insight into the differential antibody production we see in the patient population. In my free time, I enjoy theater, traveling, camping, and playing with my resident and foster cats and dogs.