Melissa J. Caimano, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Academic Office Location:
Medicine
University of Connecticut Health Center
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-3715
Phone: 860-679-8390
Fax: 860-679-8130

Melissa Caimano received a B.S. degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1989. She attended graduate school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham doing her thesis work on the genetic elements involved in Streptococcus pneumoniae capsule biosynthesis. In 1996, Caimano began a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Justin Radolf at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, relocating to the University of Connecticut in 1999. Her work has focused primarily on the regulatory pathways and molecular mechanisms underlying mammalian host adaptation and maintenance of Borrelia burgdorferi within its natural enzootic cycle. Most notably, these studies have led to the discovery that the alternate sigma factor RpoS plays a critical role in the down-regulation, as well as up-regulation, of borrelial genes specifically in response to mammalian host signals. She has published more than 46 peer-reviewed articles on microbial pathogenesis and related areas in high impact journals. Her work examining the interaction between the Lyme disease spirochete and its arthropod vector is supported by grants awarded to her by the National Research Fund for Tick-Borne Diseases (NRFTD) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH/NIAID). Caimano currently is an Assistant Professor in the UConn Health Center Department of Medicine and holds a secondary appointment at Connecticut Children's Medical Center Department of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. She also has served on the Editorial Board of Infection and Immunity since 2006.

Her work has focused primarily on the regulatory pathways and molecular mechanisms underlying mammalian host adaptation and maintenance of Borrelia burgdorferi within its natural enzootic cycle. Most notably, these studies have led to the discovery that the alternate sigma factor RpoS plays a critical role in the down-regulation, as well as up-regulation, of borrelial genes specifically in response to mammalian host signals. More recently, Dr. Caimano has identified a central role for the small nucleotide second messenger, c-di-GMP, for maintenance of B. burgdorferi in its arthropod vector. She has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles on microbial pathogenesis and related areas in high impact journals

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • The Prokaryotes: An Evolving Electronic Resource for the Microbiological Community
    Caimano MJ and Radolf JD. (2002) The Genus Borrelia.

Notes

Reviews

  • Borrelia burgdorferi gene expression profiling with membrane-based arrays.
    Ojaimi, Caroline; Brooks, Chad; Akins, Darrin; Casjens, Sherwood; Rosa, Patricia; Elias, Abdallah; Barbour, Alan; Jasinskas, Algis; Benach, Jorge; Katonah, Laura; Radolf, Justin; Caimano, Melissa; Skare, Jon; Swingle, Kristen; Sims, Simon; Schwartz, Ira (2002) Methods in enzymology (358) 165-77