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104 Mason Farm Road, CB #7310
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7310
Appointments: 919-966-1401
Office: 919-843-5383
Fax: 919-966-9863

Dr. Hernandez completed medical school at the UNC School of Medicine, and stayed at UNC for her residency in Pediatrics. She completed her Allergy/Immunology fellowship at the University of California San Diego in 2007, where her research was focused on murine models of otitis media, and the study of toll-like receptors. She returned to NC as an assistant professor in 2007 and transitioned from mouse models to translational research. She completed the K30 Clinical Scholars curriculum in 2009 where she received formalized training in translational research methods. The Hernandez lab is interested in the identification of novel interventions for difficult-to-treat asthma. Her clinical research interests include severe asthma, immunodeficiency, and auto-inflammatory syndromes.

In the clinic: Dr. Hernandez is board certified in Pediatrics and Allergy & Immunology. She is the Associate Director of the UNC Asthma Program. Her clinic is primarily focused on the treatment of severe asthma, humoral immunodeficiency, and auto-inflammatory disorders including the periodic fever syndromes

Grant Funding:

NIEHS K23 8/1/2013-7/31/2015

Downregulation of oxidant-induced inflammation through modulation of NRF2.

M. Hernandez, PI.

Allergy Asthma & Immunology Education and Research Trust (ARTrust) Gail G. Shapiro Clinical Faculty Development Award 06/20/2014-06/30/2017

Measurement of Asthma control in African American Adolescents with Asthma using the ACT.

M. Hernandez, PI



Books and Chapters


Hernandez ML and Peden DB. Air pollution: indoor and outdoor. Chapter 30, pages 482-496. Middleton’s Allergy: Principles and Practice. Adkinson F et al (ed.). ISBN 978-0323085939 (2013)


Hernandez ML and Bastian J. Molecular Pathology of Hematolymphoid Diseases. White Blood Cell and Immunodeficiency Disorders. Chapter 54, pages 499-510. Dunphy C, ed. ISBN 978-1-4419-5697-2 (2010)


Hernandez ML, Wasserman SI. Head and Neck Manifestations of Systemic Disease. Systemic Allergic Disorders: IgE-Mediated Disorders, Angioedema, Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Sensitivity, and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. Chapter 22, pages 315-322. ISBN-10: 0849340500 (2007)


Refereed Papers and Articles


Hernandez ML; Mills KM; Almond MT, K; Aleman, MM; Zhang, H; Zhou, H; and Peden, DB. Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist reduces endotoxin-induced airway inflammation in human volunteers. Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology 2014, in press.

Mills K; Lay JC; Wu, W; Robinette C; Kesic, MJ; Dreskin MC; Peden DB; & Hernandez ML. Vitamin E, γ-tocopherol, diminishes ex vivo basophil response to dust mite allergen. Allergy, 2014 Apr;69(4):541-4.

Gillen E; Hassmiller Lich K; Yeatts KB; Hernandez ML; Smith TW; Lewis MA.

Social Ecology of Asthma: Engaging Stakeholders in Integrating Health Behavior Theories and Practice-Based Evidence Through Systems Mapping. Health Education & Behavior, 2013 2013 May 24.


Hernandez ML, Wagner JG, Aline Kala R, Mills K, Wells HB, Alexis NE, Lay JC, Jiang Q, Zhang H, Zhou H, Peden DB. Vitamin E Gamma-tocopherol Reduces Airway Neutrophil Recruitment after Inhaled Endotoxin Challenge in Rats and in Healthy Volunteers. Free Radic Biol Med. 2013 Feb 8

Alexis NE, Lay JC, Zhou H, Kim CS, Hernandez ML, Kehrl H, Hazucha MJ, Devlin RB, Diaz-Sanchez D, Peden DB. The glutathione-S-transferase mu 1 (GSTM1) null genotype and increased neutrophil response to low-level ozone (0.06 ppm). The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, 2013 Feb;131(2):610-2

Hernandez ML, Herbst M, Lay JC, Alexis NE, Brickey WJ, Ting JPY, Zhou H, and Peden DB. Atopic asthmatics have reduced airway inflammatory cell recruitment after inhaled endotoxin challenge compared to healthy volunteers. The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, 2012 2012 Oct;130(4):869-76.

William D. Bennett, PhD, Margaret Herbst, RN, Kirby L. Zeman, PhD, Jihong Wu, MD, Michelle L. Hernandez, MD, and David B. Peden, MD. Effect of Inhaled Endotoxin on Regional Particle Deposition in Mild Asthmatics. The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, 2013 Mar;131(3):912-3

Auerbach AR and Hernandez ML. The effect of environmental oxidative stress on airway inflammation. Current Opinions in Allergy & Clinical Immunology 2012, 12L 133-139

Hernandez ML, Brickey WJ, Alexis NEa, Fry RC, Rager JE, Zou B, Ting JPY, *Zhou H and *Peden DB. Airway cells from atopic asthmatics exposed to ozone display an enhanced innate immune gene profile. The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology 2012 Jan;129(1):259-261.e2.

Brickey WJ, Alexis NE, Hernandez ML, Reed W, Ting JPY, Peden DB. Sputum Inflammatory Cells from Persons with Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma Have Decreased Inflammasome Gene Expression. The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, 2011 Oct;128(4):900-3. Epub 2011 Aug 25


Bennett WD, Herbst M, Alexis NE, Zeman KL, Wu J, Hernandez ML, Peden DB. Effect of inhaled dust mite allergen on regional particle deposition and mucociliary clearance in allergic asthmatics. Clin Exp Allergy 2011 Jul 5.

Esther, CE, Alexis NE, Peden DB, and Hernandez ML. Airway purinergic responses in healthy, atopic non-asthmatic, and atopic asthmatic subjects exposed to ozone. Inhal Toxicol. 2011 May;23(6):324-30.

Dillon, MA, Harris, B, Hernandez ML, Zou B, Reed W, Bromberg PA, Devlin RB, Diaz-Sanchez D, Kleeberger S, Zhou Z, Lay, JC, Alexis, NE and Peden DB. Enhancement of systemic and sputum granulocyte response to inhaled endotoxin in persons with the GSTM1 null genotype. Occup Environ Med. 2011 Mar 25

Leichtle A, Hernandez M, Lee J, Pak K, Webster NJ, Wollenberg B, Wasserman SI, Ryan AF. The role of DNA sensing and innate immune receptor TLR9 in otitis media. Innate Immun. 2011 Jan 14.

Ebmeyer J, Leichtle A, Hernandez M, Ebmeyer U, Husseman J, Pak K, Sudhoff H, Broide D, Wasserman SI, Ryan AF. TNFA deletion alters apoptosis as well as caspase 3 and 4 expression during otitis media. BMC Immunol. 2011 Jan 26;12(1):12.


Hernandez ML, Lay JC, Harris BD, Esther Jr. CR , Brickey J, Bromberg PA, Diaz-Sanchez D, Devlin RB, Kleeberger SR, Alexis NE, Peden DB. Atopic Asthmatics but not atopics without asthma have enhanced inflammatory response to ozone. The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, 2010 Sep;126(3):537-44.e1

Hernandez ML*, Harris B*, Lay JC*, Bromberg PA, Diaz-Sanchez D, Devlin RB, Kleeberger SR, Alexis NE, and Peden DB. Comparative Airway Inflammatory Response of Normal Volunteers to Ozone and LPS Challenge. Inhal Toxicol. 2010 Jul;22(8):648-56. *The authors contributed equally to this work.

Alexis NE, Lay JC, Hazucha M, Harris B, Hernandez ML, Bromberg PA, Kehrl H, Diaz-Sanchez D, Kim C, Devlin RB, Peden DB. Low-level ozone exposure induces airways inflammation and modifies cell surface phenotypes in healthy humans. Inhalation Toxicol. 2010 Jun;22(7):593-600.

Leichtle A*, Hernandez M*, Ebmeyer J, Yamasaki K, Lai Y, Radek K, Choung YH, Euteneuer S, Pak K, Gallo R, Wasserman SI, Ryan AF. CC Chemokine Ligand 3 Overcomes the Bacteriocidal and Phagocytic Defect of Macrophages and Hastens Recovery from Experimental Otitis Media in TNF-/- Mice. J Immunol. 2010 Feb 17. *The authors contributed equally to this work.

Alexis NE, Zhou H, Lay JC, Harris B, Hernandez ML, Lu TS, Bromberg PA, Diaz-Sanchez D, Devlin RB, Kleeberger SR, Peden DB. The Glutathione-S-Transferase Mu 1 null genotype modulates ozone-induced airway inflammation in humans. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Sep 29.


Leichtle A, Hernandez M, Pak K, Webster NJ, Wasserman SI, Ryan AF. The toll-Like receptor adaptor TRIF contributes to otitis media pathogenesis and recovery. BMC Immunol. 2009 Aug 5;10:45


Leichtle A*, Hernandez M*, Pak K, Yamasaki K , Cheng CF, Webster NJ, Ryan AF, Wasserman SI. TLR4-mediated induction of TLR2 signaling is critical in the pathogenesis and resolution of otitis media. Innate Immun. 2009 Aug;15(4):205-15 *The two authors contributed equally to this work.

Hernandez ML, Zhou H, Robinette C, Zhou B, Hatch G, Alexis N, and Peden D. Combination treatment with high dose ascorbate and alpha tocopherol does not enhance airway ascorbate levels in asthmatics. Inhal Toxicol. 2009 Feb;21(3):173-81


Hernandez ML*, Leichtle A*, Pak K, Ebmeyer J, Euteneuer E, Obonyo M, Guiney DG, Webster N, Broide DH, Ryan AF and Wasserman SI. Innate immune signaling via MyD88 is required for the resolution of otitis media. J Infect Dis. 2008 Dec 15;198(12):1862-9. *The two authors contributed equally to this work.

Gruber TA, Shah AJ, Hernandez M, Crooks GM, Abdel-Azim H, Gupta S, McKnight S, White D, Kapoor N, Kohn DB. Clinical and genetic heterogeneity in Omenn syndrome and severe combined immune deficiency. Pediatr Transplant. 2008 Sep 15.

Hernandez ML, Passas HJ, Smith LG. Clonal analysis of epidermal patterning during Maize leaf development. Developmental Biology 216: 646-658 (1999).