Melanie Gartz, PhD, MS, MHS

Melanie Gartz, PhD, MS, MHS

Assistant Professor


  • Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy
    Office: B4135

Contact Information


KINETIC3 Scholar, Medical Educator Track, Kern Institute, Medical College of Wisconsin
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cell Biology, Medical Education, Medical College of Wisconsin
PhD, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 2020
MS, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 2014
MHS, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2011
BS, Clinical Laboratory Science, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, 2009


Teaching Interests

As an educator in the medical and graduate schools at MCW, I am involved in teaching in the Clinical Human Anatomy Courses and Musculoskeletal Skin Course. I have additional experience leading small group discussions for M1, M2 and M3 students in the Molecular and Cellular Research Pathways Course. I aim to create an inclusive learning environment for all of my students where they can discuss ideas openly and get questions answered as they continue on their knowledge journey.

Honors and Awards

03/2016 Best Poster, Department of Medicine Research Retreat
09/2017 Best Poster, Graduate Student Poster Session
11/2017 Outstanding Medical Student Teacher
03/2018 Best Poster, Graduate Student Research Symposium
09/2018 Graduate Student Award, Women in Science Committee
09/2018 Best Poster, Graduate Student Poster Session
11/2018 Outstanding Medical Student Teacher
03/2019 Best Presentation, Graduate Student Research Symposium
09/2019 Best Poster, Graduate Student Poster Session
11/2019 Outstanding Medical Student Teacher
11/2021 Outstanding Medical Student Teacher
06/2022 Karen Marcdante Bravery in Teaching Award

Research Interests

I have interests in utilizing induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to model genetic neuromuscular diseases such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Nemaline Myopathy. Differentiation of these iPSCs into skeletal myocytes and cardiomyocytes serves as a platform for our investigations of molecular mechanisms underlying these genetic disorders. We use iPSCs with patient-specific gene to recapitulate human disease phenotypes. Prior work has identified oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction as contributing factors to DMD. Further, cellular communication via exosomes was found to contribute to disease pathogenesis in DMD. We are now exploring similar dysfunctional pathways in our in vitro models of NM.