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