Dr. Loyda M. Meléndez

Associate Professor
Loyda M. Melendez

Contact Info

  • Department of Microbiology and Zoology,
    University of Puerto Rico-School of Medicine,
    P.O. Box 365067
    San Juan, P.R. 00936-5067
  • 787) 758-2525 xt 2816 xt Lab 2817


  • S. Medical Technology, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras and Medical Sciences Campus , P.R.1979
  • S. Microbiology, University of Georgia, 1981
  • D. Exp. Path/Immunology, Emory University and CDC, Altanta, GA, 1990
  • Post-doctoral training in Immunohematology/Cytometry, Emory University Pathology Dept, Altanta, GA, 1991 ; and in Pediatrics Infectious Diseases: Role of the placenta in HIV transmission, Emory University Pediatrics, Altanta, GA, 1992


Viral pathogenesis, neuroscience, and proteomics

  • Targeting monocyte/macrophage cathepsin B interactome in HIV-1 neurocognitive disorders. Explore the role of neurotoxic proteins from macrophages in the development of HIV-neurotoxicity and their expression in in patients treated with combined antiretroviral therapy or cART. Include studies on the effect of substance abuse (Cocaine, marijuana) in cathepsin B-induced neuropathegenesis. SC1GM113691-01.
  • RCMI Translational Proteomics Center. In the second cycle of this 5-year grant (2011-2017) the major goals of this activity are to expand our research core capabilities in Clinical and Basic Science Proteomics and to increase research productivity of Puerto Rico investigators using Proteomics that would lead to improved diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring in health disparities. Infrastructure support provided in part by grants from the National Center for Research Resources (2G12 RR003051) and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (8G12MD007600).
  • Advancement of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE). RCMI Translational Proteomics Center at University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus provides new resources for the Advancement of Biomedical Research Excellence. This activity provides funds for developing workshops for INBRE faculty and students. NCRR-P20 RR016470
  • Role of placental macrophages in mother to child transmission of Zika virus (pilot study)


Experience mentoring students: Dr. Melendez has mentored 30 undergraduates, 6 MS, 16 PhD students, and 3 Post-doctoral trainees in the area of HIV pathogenesis over the past 22 years. One of the most recent post-docs at her lab, Dr. Linda Rivera, was awarded an F32 from NINDS.

Table 1Students mentored by Dr. Loyda Melendez in chronological order

Name of Past and Current StudentsUndergrad (UG) Graduate (G) StudentPeriod of Time MentoredCurrent Status
Past Students

Marinés Plaud

(G) MS1993-1996Research Associate


Jessicca Renta(G) MS1994-1997Research Associate


Johana Meléndez(G) MS1996-1998Flow Cytometry  Assistant Director-Moffit Cancer Center
Fernando Soto(UG)1994-1995MD


Monica Grafals(UG)1995MD


Gill Nieves(UG)1996-1997MD
Zulma Carrasquillo(UG)1997
Robert Bowles(UG)1999MD
Mariela Agosto(UG)2000MD
Yaritza Puig(UG)2000MD
Gisela TorresHarvard Medical Student1999-2000M.D. U. Texas
Zulma Sánchez(UG)2000-2001U.de Colombia
Rafael Contreras(UG)2000-2001Post-Doctoral


Sylvia Berríos(UG)Summer-2001MD
Johanna Méndez(UG)Summer-2001MD
Miguel Arroyo(G) PhD1996-2001Coronel and Researcher

Walter Reed Army Research Institute

Manuel Santiago(UG)2000-2001Graduate Student-School of Public Health
Johanna Díaz(G) PhD


Aksim G. Rivera(UG)2001UG-UPR System
Lynnette López(UG)2001MD PhD student
Lourdes Rodriguez(UG)Summer 2004UG-UPR System
Edwin Sánchez(G) PhD1998-2003Research Scientist

Abbott Labs

Pedro Vélez(G) MS MD2001-2003MD
Dianedis Toro(G) PhD2001-2008Assistant Professor UPR Bayamon
Claribel Luciano(G) PhD2003-2008Assistant Professor Escuela de Medicina SJ Bautista
Ixane Velazquez(G) MS2005-2008Beckton Dickinson
Lynette Bosques(UG)Summer 2006MD-PhD-US- Yale U
Stephanie Dorta(UG)2006-2007Post-doc MD Anderson
Katia Garcia(G) PhD2003-2009FDA Scientist
Rafael Romeu(UG)2009-2010MD
Christian Avilés(UG)2010-2011MD
Maria del Carmen Lopez(UG)2010-2011MD
Eillen Rodriguez(G) PhD2007-2011Research Manager, Amgen
Viviana Melendez(UG)Summer 2011Medical School, UCC
Krystal Colon(G) PhD2009-2015Post-doctoral Wistar Institute
Yisel Cantres(G) PhD2010-2015Post-doctoral UPR-MSC
Frances Zenón(G) PhD2010-2014Assistant Professor
Raymond Quiles(UG)2011-2014Doctoral student in US
Gisela Delgado(UG)2011-2014Medical School
Karla Negrón(UG)2014-2016Medical School

Omar Velez(G) PhD2012-presentRISE
Lester Rosario(G)PhD2014-presentRISE
Camille Zenón(G) MS2014-presentAyudantia
Gabriel Borges(G) PhD2015-presentAyudantia
Alexandra Ogando(UG)2014-presentMARC


  • Melendez-Guerrero LM, Nicholson JK, and MacDougal JS. 1990. In vitro infection of monocytes with HIVBa-L. Effect on cell surface expression of CD4, CD14, HLA-DR, and HLA-DQ. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1990 Jun;6(6):731-41.PMID:1694679
  • Melendez-Guerrero L, Nicholson J, and MacDougal S. 1991. In vitro infection of Human Monocytes with HIV-1Ba-L. Effect on Accessory Cell Function for T-Cell Proliferation In Vitro. AIDS Res and Human Retroviruses 7(5): 465-474. PMID: 1873081.
  • Renta JY, Cadilla CL, Vega ME, Hillyer GV, Estrada C, Jiménez E, Abreu E, Méndez I, Gandía J, Meléndez-Guerrero LM. 1997. Longitudinal studies on maternal HIV-1 variants by biological phenotyping, sequence analysis and viral load. Cell Mol Biol 43(7):1097-114. PMID: 9449544
  • Plaud-Valentin M, Delgado R, Garcia V, Zorrilla C, Gandia J, Meléndez-Guerrero LM. HIV infection of placental macrophages: effect on the secretion of HIV stimulatory cytokines. Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 1999 Jun;45(4):423-31. PMID: 10432189.
  • Torres G, García V, Sánchez E, Segarra A, Patterson BK, Meléndez-Guerrero LM.Expression of the HIV-1 co-receptors CCR5 and CXCR4 on placental macrophages and the effect of IL-10 on their expression. Placenta. Suppl A:S29-33. PMID: 11312625.
  • Sanchez-Carrasquillo E, García V, Rivera CE, Febo I, Melendez-Guerrero LM. 2000. CCR5 and beta-chemokines in HIV-1 infected children. P R Health Sci J. 19(4):345-51. PMID: 11300123
  • Melendez-Guerrero LM, Arroyo MA, Vega ME, Jimenez E, Hillyer GV, Cadilla CL.2001. Characterization of HIV isolates from Puerto Rican maternal-infant pairs reveal predominance of non-syncytium inducing (NSI) variants with CCR5 genotype. Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 47; 39-47. PMID: 11936872.
  • Meléndez J, García V, Sánchez E, Delgado R, Torres G, Meléndez-Guerrero LM. 2001. Is decreased HIV-1 infectivity of placental macrophages caused by high levels of beta-chemokines? Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 47 OL51-9. PMID:11936874
  • Ruff MR, Melendez-Guerrero LM, Yang QE, Ho WZ, Mikovits JW, Pert CB, Ruscetti FA. 2001. Peptide T inhibits HIV-1 infection mediated by the chemokine receptor-5 (CCR5). Antiviral Res. 2001 Oct;52(1):63-75. PMID:11530189
  • Arroyo MA, Tien H, Pagán M, Swanstrom R, Hillyer GV, Cadilla CL, Meléndez-Guerrero LM. 2002. Virologic risk factors for vertical transmission of HIV type 1 in Puerto Rico. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 18(6):447-60. PMID: 11958688.
  • Luo X, Carlson KA, Wojna V, Mayo R, Biskup TM, Stoner J, Anderson J, Gendelman HE, Meléndez LM. Macrophage proteomic fingerprinting predicts HIV-1-associated cognitive impairment. Neurology. 2003 Jun 24;60(12):1931-7. PMID:12821735.
  • Wojna V, Carlson KA, Luo X, Mayo R, Meléndez LM, Kraiselburd E, Gendelman HE. 2004. Proteomic fingerprinting of human immunodeficiency virus type 1-associated dementia from patient monocyte-derived macrophages: A case study. J Neurovirol. 2004;10 Suppl 1:74-81. PMID:14982743.
  • Kamara P, Melendez-Guerrero L, Arroyo M, Weiss H, Jolly P. 2005. Maternal plasma viral load and neutralizing/enhancing antibodies in vertical transmission of HIV: a non-randomized prospective study. Virol J. 2:15. PMID:15730556.
  • Wojna V, Skolasky RL, Hechavarría R, Mayo R, Selnes O, McArthur JC, Meléndez LM, Maldonado E, Zorrilla CD, García H, Kraiselburd E, Nath A. 2006. Prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus-associated cognitive impairment in a group of Hispanic women at risk for neurological impairment. J Neurovirol. 2006 Oct;12(5):356-64. PMID:17065128
  • Wojna V, Skolasky RL, McArthur JC, Maldonado E, Hechavarria R, Mayo R, Selnes O, Ginebra T, de la Torre T, Garcia H, Kraiselburd E, Melendez-Guerrero LM, Zorrilla CD, Nath A. 2007. Spanish validation of the HIV dementia scale in women. AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2007 Dec;21(12):930-41. PMID:18154490.
  • Nieves DM, Plaud M, Wojna V, Skolasky R, Meléndez LM. Characterization of peripheral blood human immunodeficiency virus isolates from Hispanic women with cognitive impairment. J Neurovirol. 2007 Aug;13(4):315-27. PMID: 17849315.
  • Rozek W, Ricardo-Dukelow M, Holloway S, Gendelman HE, Wojna V, Melendez LM, Ciborowski P. 2007. Cerebrospinal fluid proteomic profiling of HIV-1-infected patients with cognitive impairment. J Proteome Res. 2007 Nov;6(11):4189-99. Epub 2007 Oct 12. PMID: 17929958.
  • Wojna V, Robles L, Skolasky RL, Mayo R, Selnes O, de la Torre T, Maldonado E, Nath A, Meléndez LM, Lasalde-Dominicci J. 2007. Associations of cigarette smoking with viral immune and cognitive function in human immunodeficiency virus-seropositive women. J Neurovirol. 2007 Dec;13(6):561-8. PMID:18097887.
  • Laspiur JP, Anderson ER, Ciborowski P, Wojna V, Rozek W, Duan F, Mayo R, Rodríguez E, Plaud-Valentín M, Rodríguez-Orengo J, Gendelman HE, Meléndez LM. CSF proteomic fingerprints for HIV-associated cognitive impairment. J Neuroimmunol. 2007 Dec;192(1-2):157-70. Epub 2007 Oct 22. Erratum in: J Neuroimmunol. 2008 Dec 15;205(1-2):161. PMID:17950469.
  • Luciano-Montalvo C, Ciborowski P, Duan F, Gendelman HE, Meléndez LM. Proteomic analyses associate cystatin B with restricted HIV-1 replication in placental macrophages. Placenta. 2008 Dec;29(12):1016-23. PMID: 18951626
  • Luciano-Montalvo C, Meléndez LM. Cystatin B associates with signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 in monocyte-derived and placental macrophages. Placenta. 2009 May;30(5):464-7. PMID: 19342095.
  • García K, García V, Pérez Laspiur J, Duan F, Meléndez LM. Characterization of the placental macrophage secretome: implications for antiviral activity. Placenta. 2009 Feb;30(2):149-55. PMID: 19070362
  • García-Crespo K, Cadilla C, Skolasky R, Meléndez LM. Restricted HIV-1 replication in placental macrophages is caused by inefficient viral transcription. J Leukoc Biol. 2010 Apr;87(4):633-6. PMID: 20042472.
  • Toro-Nieves D (mentee, LM), Perez Laspiur J, Ciborowski P, Duan F, Wojna V, Meléndez LM. 2009. Proteomic analysis of HIV-1 infected monocyte-derived macrophage following infection with primary viral strains isolated from Hispanic women with cognitive impairment”. J NeuroVirology 1:36-50.
  • Velázquez I (Mentee, LM), Plaud M, Pérez-Laspiur J, Skolasky R, Wojna V and Meléndez LM. 2009. Antioxidant enzyme dysfunction in monocytes and CSF of Hispanic women with HIV-associated cognitive impairment. J Neuroimmunol 209:206-211
  • García, K (Mentee, LM), García, V, Duan, F, Perez Laspiur J, Meléndez, L.M. 2009. Characterization of the placental macrophage secretome: Implications for antiviral activity. 30: 149-155. PMID: 19070362
  • Kraft-Terry S, Gerena Y, Wojna V, Plaud-Valentin M, Rodriguez Y, Ciborowski P, Mayo R, Skolasky R, Gendelman HE, Melendez LM. Proteomics analysis of monocytes from Hispanic women with HIV-associated dementia show depressed antioxidants. J. Proteomics and Clinical Applications 4:710-714. PMID:21137088
  • Peters J, Dieppa-Perea L, Melendez LM*, Quirk GJ. 2010. Induction of fear extinction with hippocampus infralimbic BDNF. Science 238:1288-1290. PMID: 20522777.
  • Melendez LM*, Colon K, Rivera L Rodriguez-Franco E, and Toro-Nieves D. (Invited Review) 2011. Proteomic analysis of HIV-infected macrophages. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 6:89-106. PMID: 21153888.
  • Rivera-Rivera L, Perez-Laspiur J, Colon, K, and Melendez, LM*. Inhibition of interferon response by cystatin B: Implication in HIV replication of macrophage reservoirs. J Neurovirology 18:20-9. PMID: 22147503.
  • Rodriguez E, Cantres Y, Plaud M, Romeu R, Rodriguez Y, Skolasky R, Melendez V, Cadilla C, and Melendez LM*. 2012. Dysregulation of macrophage-secreted cathepsin B contributes to HIV-1-linked neuronal apoptosi PLoS ONE 7(5): PMID: 22693552.
  • Cantres-Rosario Y, Plaud-Valentin M, Gerena Y, Skolasky R, Wojna V, Meléndez LM*. Dysregulation of cathepsin B and its inhibitor cystatin B in monocytes and CSF from women with HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment. AIDS 27:347-356. PMID: 23291538.
  • Rivera LE, Colon K, Cantres YM, Zenon FM, and Melendez, LM. Macrophage derived cystatin B/cathepsin B in HIV replication and neuropathogenesis. Current HIV Research 12: 111-120. PMID:24862331.
  • Agsalda-Garcia M, Shiramizu B, Melendez LM*, Plaud M, Liang C-Y, Wojna V. Different levels of HIV DNA copy numbers in cerebrospinal fluid cellular subsets. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 24(4) Suppl 8-16 doi: 10.1353/hpu.2014.0010. PMID: 24241256; PMCID: PMC3844931.
  • Zenon F, Segarra A, Gonzalez M, and Meléndez LM*, Cocaine Potentiates Cathepsin B Secretion and Neuronal Apoptosis from in HIV-infected Macrophages. J Neuroimmune Pharmacology. Published on line ahead of time DOI 10.1007/s11481-014-9563-z
  • Vázquez-Santiago F, García Y, Rivera-Román I, Noel RJ Jr, Wojna V, Meléndez LM, Rivera-Amill V. Longitudinal Analysis of Cerebrospinal Fluid and Plasma HIV-1 Envelope Sequences Isolated From a Single Donor with HIV Asymptomatic Neurocognitive Impairment. J Virol Antivir Res. 2015;4(1). doi: 10.4172/2324-8955.1000135. PMID: 26167513.
  • Zenón F, Cantres-Rosario Y, Adiga R, Gonzalez M, Rodriguez-Franco E, Langford D, Melendez LM. HIV-infected microglia mediate cathepsin B-induced neurotoxicity. J Neurovirol. 2015 Jun 20. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26092112.
  • Zenón F, Jorge I, Cruz A, Suarez E, Segarra AC, Vázquez J, Meléndez LM, Serrano H. O18 proteomics reveal increased Human Apolipoprotein CIII in Hispanic HIV-1 positive women with HAART that use cocaine. Proteomics Clin Appl. 2015 Aug 10. doi: 10.1002/prca.201400204. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26255783.
  • Colon K, Perez-Laspiur J, Quiles R, Rodriguez Y, Wojna V, Shaffer SA, Leszyk J, Skolasky RL Jr, Melendez LM. Macrophage secretome from women with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Proteomics Clin Appl. 2015 Jul 29. doi: 10.1002/prca.201400203. [Epub ahead of print PMID: 26220577.
  • Colon K, Vázquez-Santiago F Rivera-Amill V, Delgado G, Massey SE, Wojna V, Noel RJ Jr6 and Meléndez LM. 2015. HIV Gp120 Sequence Variability Associated with HAND in Hispanic Women. J Virology and Antiviral Research. doi: 10.4172/2324-8955.1000135.
  • Cantres-Rosario YM, Hernandez N, Negron K, Perez-Laspiur J, Leszyk J, Shaffer SA, Melendez LM. Interacting partners of macrophage-secreted cathepsin B contribute to HIV-induced neuronal apoptosis. 2015 Jul 23. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26208400.
  • Delgado-Velez M, Baez-Pagan C, Gerena Y, Quesada O, Santiago-Perez L, Capo-Velez C, Wojna V, Melendez L, Leon-Rivera R, Silva W, and Lasalde-Dominicci JA. The a-7nicotinic receptor is upregulated in immune cells from HIVseropositive women: Consequences to the cholinergic anti-inflammatory response. Clin and Translational Immunology 4, e53.

Book Chapters

  • Gendelman, H, Anderson E, Melendez, Land Zheng, J. Chemokines and their receptors in HIV-1 neuropathogenesis. 2006. In Vivo Models of HIV Disease and Control. Eds H. Friedman, S. Specter, and M. Bendinelli. Springer. p. 45-80.
  • Melendez, L.M., Luciano, C. Mayo-Santana R., Wojna, V. Ethnicity and Neuro-AIDS Conditions in the HAART Era. 2009. In “The Spectrum of NeuroAIDS Disorders: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment”. ASM Press. p. 427-441.

Patent: A method of reducing HIV-Replication on human body tissue comprising down regulating the expression of the protein Cystatin B on said human body tissue Pat No. 8,143,231.