McKella Sylvester graduated cum laude from Colgate University in 2021 with a B.A. in English literature and a minor in chemistry. Her undergraduate experience involved the organic synthesis of Tn antigen mimics for oncological studies. Before joining NIAMS, McKella was a postbaccalaureate fellow in Dr. Daniella Schwartz’s lab at NIAID, where she modeled T-helper-9 pathogenicity in psoriatic cardiovascular disease using animal models.

Currently, McKella is a postbaccalaureate fellow in the Vasculitis Translational Research Program at NIAMS, where she examines the immune profiles of patients with vasculitis using ex-vivo assays and flow cytometry. 

Research Statement

McKella’s research focuses on T-helper-17 pathology in interleukin-6 mediated Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA), a vasculitis that affects large blood vessels.

Scientific Publications

Dynamic chromatin accessibility licenses STAT5- and STAT6-dependent innate-like function of T(H)9 cells to promote allergic inflammation.

Son A, Meylan F, Gomez-Rodriguez J, Kaul Z, Sylvester M, Falduto GH, Vazquez E, Haque T, Kitakule MM, Wang C, Manthiram K, Qi CF, Cheng J, Gurram RK, Zhu J, Schwartzberg P, Milner JD, Frischmeyer-Guerrerio PA, Schwartz DM
Nat Immunol.
2023 Jun;
doi: 10.1038/s41590-023-01501-5
PMID: 37106040

Deep immune profiling uncovers novel associations with clinical phenotypes of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

Redmond CJ, Kitakule MM, Son A, Sylvester M, Sacco K, Delmonte O, Licciardi F, Castagnoli R, Poli MC, Espinoza Y, Astudillo C, Weber SE, Montealegre Sanchez GA, Barron KS, Magliocco M, Dobbs K, Zhang Y, Matthews H, Oguz C, Su HC, Notarangelo LD, Frischmeyer-Guerrerio P, Schwartz DM
Ann Rheum Dis.
2023 Mar;
doi: 10.1136/ard-2022-223269
PMID: 36424123

PET/CT-Based Characterization of 18F-FDG Uptake in Various Tissues Reveals Novel Potential Contributions to Coronary Artery Disease in Psoriatic Arthritis.

Schwartz DM, Parel P, Li H, Sorokin AV, Berg AR, Chen M, Dey A, Hong CG, Playford M, Sylvester M, Teague H, Siegel E, Mehta NN
Front Immunol.
doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.909760
PMID: 35720288

The Interactions Between Autoinflammation and Type 2 Immunity: From Mechanistic Studies to Epidemiologic Associations.

Sylvester M, Son A, Schwartz DM
Front Immunol.
doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.818039
PMID: 35281022


Colgate University
B.A., English with minor in Chemistry (2021)


NIH IRTA Postbaccalaureate Fellowship
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Food Allergy Lab Section Bethesda, MD (2021-2022)

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