My research is focused on developing and testing novel strategies for monitoring autoimmune diseases. We use custom, high-throughput, multiplex assays to detect soluble mediators of inflammation and autoantibodies in human samples, then apply mathematical modeling methods to identify biomarkers for impending changes in disease activity. We also study unique preclinical patient cohorts to identify molecular and proteomic signatures that are dysregulated prior to SLE classification, in some cases years before clinical disease onset, when patients are still asymptomatic. This work builds on my postdoctoral studies in the lab of Gail Bishop, PhD, at the University of Iowa. By using multiparameter approaches to detect soluble biomarkers in cell lines, a mouse model of inflammatory arthritis, and human samples, I identified new functions and mechanisms of CD40 and identified environmental exposures that influence the regulation of immune responses relevant to autoimmune disease. Since joining OMRF, I have applied this expertise to evaluating pathogenic mechanisms, identifying new biomarkers of disease pathogenesis, developing diagnostic and prognostic algorithms, and examining the initial events in systemic autoimmunity and other inflammatory diseases. I use the information from these studies to develop predictive tests and algorithms that accurately distinguish patients at high risk of developing SLE, and to predict increased disease activity in patients with established disease. The ultimate goal of this research is to mitigate or prevent further organ damage caused by lupus.
B.S., B.M., Drake University, Des Moines, IA 1991
M.A., Drake University, Des Moines, IA, 1993
Ph.D., Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 2001
M.D., Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 2002
Postdoctoral fellowship, University of Iowa, 2002-2007
Joined OMRF Scientific Staff in 2010
Thanou A, Jupe E, Purushothaman M, Niewold TB, Munroe ME. Clinical disease activity and flare in SLE: Current concepts and novel biomarkers. J Autoimmun 119:102615, 2021 February, PMID: 33631651
Munroe ME, Anderson JR, Gross TF, Stunz LL, Bishop GA, James JA. Epstein-Barr Functional Mimicry: Pathogenicity of Oncogenic Latent Membrane Protein-1 in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Autoimmunity. Front Immunol 11:606936, 2021 February, PMID: 33613527, PMCID: PMC7886997
Hahn J, Leatherwood C, Malspeis S, Liu X, Lu B, Roberts AL, Sparks JA, Karlson EW, Feldman CH, Munroe ME, James JA, Kubzansky LD, Costenbader KH. Associations between Smoking and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)-Related Cytokines and Chemokines among US Female Nurses. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken), 2020 July, PMID: 32619290
Munroe ME and Bishop GA (2007). A costimulatory function for T cell CD40. Journal of Immunology 178 (2) 671-682. PubMed PMID: 17202327.
Munroe ME, Bishop GA. 2004. Role of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) Receptor-associated Factor 2 (TRAF2) in Distinct and Overlapping CD40 and TNF Receptor 2/CD120b-mediated B Lymphocyte Activation. J. Biol. Chem. 279: 53222-53231. Accepted before April 7, 2008.
Munroe ME, Visa ES, Guthridge JM et al (2014). Proinflammatory adaptive cytokine and shed tumor necrosis factor receptor levels are elevated preceding systemic lupus erythematosus disease flare. Arthritis & Rheumatology 66 (7) 1888-1899.
Lu R*, Munroe ME*, Guthridge JM, Bean KM, Fife DA, Chen H, Slight-Webb SR, Keith MP, Harley JB, James JA (2016). Dysregulation of innate and adaptive serum mediators precedes systemic lupus erythematosus classification and improves prognostic accuracy of autoantibodies. Journal of Autoimmunity 74: 182-193. PubMed PMID: 27338520. *Equally Credited Authors
Munroe ME, Lu R, Zhao YD, Fife DA, Robertson JM, Guthridge JM, Niewold TB, Tsokos GC, Keith MP, Harley JB, James JA (2016). Altered type II interferon precedes autoantibody accrual and elevated type I interferon activity prior to systemic lupus erythematosus classification. Annals of the Rheumatic Disease 75 (11): 2014-2021. PubMed PMID: 27088255.
Munroe ME, Young KA, Kamen DL, Guthridge JM, Niewold TB, Costenbader KH, Weisman MH, Ishimori ML, Wallace DJ, Gilkeson GS, Karp DR, Harley JB, Norris JM, James JA. Discerning Risk of Disease Transition in Relatives of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients Utilizing Soluble Mediators and Clinical Features. Arthritis Rheumatol. doi: 10.1002/art.40004. [Epub ahead of print] NIHMSID: 819899. PMC Journal In Process
Arthritis & Clinical Immunology Research Program, MS 53
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
825 N.E. 13th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Phone: (405) 271-7026
Fax: (405) 271-7063