Yanice Méndez-Fernández, Ph.D., MPH

Yanice Mendez-Fernandez Image
Interim Associate Dean, School of Health Sciences

School of Health Sciences
Education

M.P.H., University of New Haven

Ph.D., Mayo Clinic College of Medicine

B.S., University of Puerto Rico

About Yanice

Dr. Méndez-Fernández was born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico. She received her Ph.D. in Immunology from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, MN and continued her post-doctoral training at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. Her research focused on the molecular mechanisms involved in immune recognition and T cell responses in animal models of infection and inflammatory diseases. As Research Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, she was the recipient of scientist development grants from the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health to study the role of immune cells in atherosclerosis. As a scientist, Dr. Méndez-Fernández has authored and co-authored more than 20 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including The Journal of Experimental Medicine and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Méndez-Fernández has been a full-time educator for the last 8 years. Prior to her role in the School of Health Sciences, she was an Associate Professor of Biology at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN and a Lecturer in the Department of Biology and Environmental Science at the University of New Haven. Dr. Méndez-Fernández was the 2016 recipient of the Trevecca Nazarene University Teaching Excellence Award, a recognition conferred by students, administrators, and faculty. In addition to teaching and advising, she is involved in mentoring and advocating for minority students through various equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives. In recognition of this work, Dr. Méndez-Fernández was awarded the 2021 Stella Simpson Leadership Award by the Trevecca community.

Dr. Méndez-Fernández joined the School of Health Sciences after completing her Master of Public Health degree and currently teaches in the public health program. Her research interests focus on access and equity in education and resilience in vulnerable populations.

See More See Less
Publications

Mendez-Fernandez, Y. Punto the Vista: Protegiendo del Coronavirus a las Poblaciones Desplazadas. El Nuevo Día. March 18, 2020.

Rhoads JP, Lukens JR, Wilhelm AJ, Moore JL, Mendez-Fernandez Y, Kanneganti TD, Major AS. Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein Immune Complex Priming of the Nlrp3 Inflammasome Involves TLR and FcgR Cooperation and Is Dependent on CARD9. J Immunol. 2017 Mar 1;198(5):2105-2114

Wu L, Parekh VV, Gabriel CL, Bracy DP, Marks-Shulman PA, Tamboli RA, Kim S, Mendez-Fernandez YV, Besra GS, Lomenick JP, Williams B, Wasserman DH, Van Kaer L. Activation of invariant natural killer T cells by lipid excess promotes tissue inflammation, insulin resistance, and hepatic steatosis in obese mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2012 Apr 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Wu L, Parekh VV, Gabriel CL, Bracy DP, Marks-Shulman PA, Tamboli RA, Kim S, Mendez-Fernandez YV, Besra GS, Lomenick JP, Williams B, Wasserman DH, Van Kaer L. Activation of invariant natural killer T cells by lipid excess promotes tissue inflammation, insulin resistance, and hepatic steatosis in obese mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2012 Apr 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Mendez-Fernandez YV and Major AS. Editorial: Humanizing the problem of transplant vasculopathy. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012 Feb;32(2):163-4.

Pavelko KD, Mendez-Fernandez YV*, Bell MP, Hansen MJ, Johnson AJ, David CS, Rodriguez M, Pease LR. Nonequivalence of classical MHC class I loci in ability to direct effective antiviral immunity. PLoS Pathog. 2012 Feb;8(2):e1002541. Epub 2012 Feb 23. *Shared first authorship

van Leuven SI, Mendez-Fernandez YV, Wilhelm AJ, Wade NS, Gabriel CL, Kastelein JJ, Stroes ES, Tak PP, Major AS. Mycophenolate mofetil but not atorvastatin attenuates atherosclerosis in lupus-prone LDLr-/- mice. Ann Rheum Dis, 2011. Sep 27 [Epub ahead of print]

Pavelko KD, Girtman MA, Mitsunaga Y, Mendez-Fernandez YV, Bell MP, Hansen MJ, Allen KS, Rodriguez M, Pease LR. Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus as a vaccine candidate for immunotherapy. PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e20217. Epub 2011 May 20.

Mendez-Fernandez, YV*, Stevenson, BG*, Diehl, CJ, Braun, NA, Wade, NS, Covarrubias, R, van Leuven, S, Witztum, JL, Major, AS. The inhibitory FcRIIb modulates the inflammatory response and influences atherosclerosis in male apoE(-/-) mice. Atherosclerosis, 214(1), 73-80, 2011. *Shared first authorship

van Leuven, SI, Mendez-Fernandez, YV, Stroes, ES, Tak, PP, Major, AS. Statin therapy in lupus-mediated atherogenesis: two birds with one stone. Ann Rheum Dis, 70(2), 245-8, 2011.

Braun, NA, Mendez-Fernandez, YV, Covarrubias, R, Porcelli, SA, Savage, PB, Yagita, H, Van Kaer, L, Major, AS. Development of spontaneous anergy in invariant natural killer T cells in a mouse model of dyslipidemia. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, 30(9), 1758-65, 2010.

Mendez-Fernandez, Y, Major, A. Sizing up stability: combination therapy with Apo-AI peptide mimetics and statins in systemic lupus erythematosus-mediated atherosclerosis. Arthritis Res Ther, 12(5), 139, 2010.

Adeeku, E, Gudapati, P, Mendez-Fernandez, Y, Van Kaer, L, Boothby, M. Flexibility accompanies commitment of memory CD4 lymphocytes derived from IL-4 locus-activated precursors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 105(27), 9307-12, 2008.

Olivares-Villagomez, D*, Mendez-Fernandez, YV*, Parekh, VV, Lalani, S, Vincent, TL, Cheroutre, H, Van Kaer, L. Thymus leukemia antigen controls intraepithelial lymphocyte function and inflammatory bowel disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 105(46), 17931-6, 2008. *Shared first authorship

Yan, J, Parekh, VV, Mendez-Fernandez, Y, Olivares-Villagomez, D, Dragovic, S, Hill, T, Roopenian, DC, Joyce, S, Van Kaer, L. In vivo role of ER-associated peptidase activity in tailoring peptides for presentation by MHC class Ia and class Ib molecules. J Exp Med, 203(3), 647-59, 2006

Block, MS, Mendez-Fernandez, YV, Van Keulen, VP, Hansen, MJ, Allen, KS, Taboas, AL, Rodriguez, M, Pease, LR. Inability of bm14 mice to respond to Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus is caused by defective antigen presentation, not repertoire selection. J Immunol, 174(5), 2756-62, 2005.

Johnson, AJ, Mendez-Fernandez, Y, Moyer, AM, Sloma, CR, Pirko, I, Block, MS, Rodriguez, M, Pease, LR. Antigen-specific CD8+ T cells mediate a peptide-induced fatal syndrome. J Immunol, 174(11), 6854-62, 2005.

Gabriel CL, Smith PB, Mendez-Fernandez YV, Wilhelm AJ, Ye AM, Major AS. Autoimmune-mediated glucose intolerance in a mouse model of systemic lupus erythematosus. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Dec 1; 303(11):E1313-24

Mendez-Fernandez, Y, Major, A. Sizing up stability: combination therapy with Apo-AI peptide mimetics and statins in systemic lupus erythematosus-mediated atherosclerosis. Arthritis Res Ther, 12(5), 139, 2010.

Mendez-Fernandez, YV, Johnson, AJ, Rodriguez, M, Pease, LR. Clearance of Theiler's virus infection depends on the ability to generate a CD8+ T cell response against a single immunodominant viral peptide. Eur J Immunol, 33(9), 2501-10, 2003.

Mendez-Fernandez, YV, Pogulis, RP, Block, MS, Johnson, AJ, Kuhns, ST, Allen, KS, Hansen, MJ, Pease, LR. Enhanced binding of low-affinity antibodies interacting simultaneously with targeted cell surface molecules and Fc receptor. Tissue Antigens, 60(6), 515-25, 2002.

Block, MS, Johnson, AJ, Mendez-Fernandez, Y, Pease, LR. Monomeric class I molecules mediate TCR/CD3 epsilon/CD8 interaction on the surface of T cells. J Immunol, 167(2), 821-6, 2001.

Kuhns, ST, Tallquist, MD, Johnson, AJ, Mendez-Fernandez, Y, Pease, LR. T cell receptor interactions with class I heavy-chain influence T cell selection. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 97(2), 756-60, 2000.

Weisman GA, Erb L, Garrad RC, Theiss PM, Santiago-Perez LI, Flores RV, Santos-Berrios C, Mendez Y and Gonzalez FA. P2Y nucleotide receptors in the immune system: Signaling by a P2Y2 receptor in U937 monocytes. Drug Dev Res, (3-4)(45), 222-28, 1998.

See More See Less