Melanie Shapiro, PhD


Melanie earned her Bachelor of Science Degree specialized in Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics from the University of Maryland in May 2015. She joined Dr. Todd Brusko’s laboratory as a graduate student in the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences Program and completed her PhD in May 2020.

Her thesis work was focused on the impacts of insulin-like growth factors (IGF) on T cell biology as well as their use as biomarkers to predict T1D. In addition, she characterized the CD226 knockout non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model as partially protective from disease onset as a consequence of improved central and peripheral tolerance.

Melanie’s current work is focused on the use of precision medicine genotyping microarray data to investigate the role of T1D risk loci in promoting immune and pancreatic phenotypes associated with T1D pathogenesis. She is also interested in loci modulating individual response to therapeutics for suspension and/or prevention of T1D development.


JDRF Post-Doctoral Fellowship Grant Key: 3-PDF-2022-1137-A-N. Project Title:  Evaluating a Precision Medicine Approach Toward Anti-Thymocyte Globulin (ATG) Treatment in Type 1 Diabetes. $192,000. (03/01/2022 – 02/28/2025)

Diabetes Research Connection Grant: AGR00023909. Project Title: CD226 inhibition to prevent regulatory T cell dysfunction. $50,000. (02/28/2022-03/01/2023)

Experimental Pathology Innovative Grant (EPIG), University of Florida, $5,000 (2021-2022)

F31 DK-117548-01, Shapiro (PI). Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award. Roles of the
Insulin-like Growth Factor Axis in Pre-Type 1 Diabetes Immune Regulation. (2018-2020)

T32 DK108736-01A1, Trainee, Atkinson (PI). Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Type 1 Diabetes and
Biomedical Engineering. (2018)

Children’s Miracle Network Research Award, University of Florida, $20,000 (2017)

HHMI Gemstone Research Fellowship, University of Maryland, $4,000 (2013-2014)

HHMI Undergraduate Research Fellowship, University of Maryland, $7,500/year (2012-2015)

Awards and Professional Honors

Best Novel Insights Paper Award.(2022). Hormone Research in Pediatrics (HRP). “A Novel Mutation in Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 Receptor (c.641-2A>G) is Associated with Impaired Growth, Hypoglycemia, and Modified Immune Phenotypes”

dkNET DChallenge Finalist, Award for Interdisciplinary Science (2021)

Best Novel Insights Paper Award, Hormone Research in Pediatrics (2021)

Best Oral Presentation, Pediatric Science Research Day, University of Florida (2019)

Exemplary Graduate Student Award, Experimental Pathology, University of Florida (2018)

Advancement to Candidacy Award, University of Florida (2018)

Grinter Scholarship, University of Florida (2015-2018)

Summa Cum Laude, University of Maryland (2015)

Banneker/Key Scholar, University of Maryland (2011-2015)

Diabetes Scholars Foundation Scholarship Recipient (2011)


2017, 2019            Friends for Life, UF Diabetes Institute Representative

2017-2018             Touched by Type One, UF Diabetes Institute Representative

2012-2014             Innoworks Science Summer Camp, Co-Director, Deputy Director, Curriculum Chair