Melanie Graham, MPH, PhD is a Professor in the Departments of Surgery in the Medical School and Veterinary Population Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. She is the Director of the Preclinical Research Center (PCRC) and holds the Robert and Katherine Goodale Chair in Minimally Invasive Surgery. She performs multi-disciplinary research developing cell-, gene-, and immuno- therapies for metabolic, autoimmune, infectious, and inherited diseases for patients suffering with life-threatening illness. Her work has advanced cell-based therapies for the treatment of diabetes, specifically induction of immune tolerance and extrahepatic delivery of islets.
Dr. Graham is also widely recognized for her expertise for enhancing rigor in preclinical modeling by refining and developing valid models of chronic disease to maximize their predictive accuracy to the clinic. Accordingly, she has integrated this work to lead influential pivotal trials that include the successful demonstration of both long-term diabetes reversal after islet xenotransplant and immunosuppression-free transplantation in primates.
She serves on the Academy of Surgical Research Board of Directors, participates in the NIAID Nonhuman Primate Transplantation Tolerance Cooperative and the NIAID Immunobiology of Xenotransplantation Cooperative Research Program, with membership in the National Academies of Science Committee for Nonhuman Primate Model Systems: State of the Science and Future Needs and UK Medical Research Council’s Scientific Advisory Group for the Scientific Landscape Review of the NHP research. She is a Board of Directors Emeritus of the North American 3Rs Consortium, a nonprofit focused on refinement, reduction, and replacement of animal models in scientific research. Her research is supported by the State of Minnesota, JDRF, DOD, and NIH.