Dr. Hinkelman is an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Baylor University and completed her doctoral degree in microbiology at the University of Kansas in Dr. Stephen H. Benedict’s laboratory investigating the factors guiding differentiation of human naïve CD4 T cells.
After her graduate work, she expanded her immunology research training by studying host immune responses to influenza virus infection as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas J. Braciale.
As an immunologist trained in using cell culture, animal models, and human samples, Dr. Hinkelman has a broad training applicable to many fields of research. One of her current research interests are focused on examining the factors that contribute to and/or are associated with rural populations accepting or rejecting immunizations. To better understand the spread of COVID-19 and the behaviors and factors that protect against severe disease, Dr. Hinkelman has been working as a part of the multi-institutional COVID-19 Community Research Partnership Study funded by the CARES Act Grant since 2020. She also collaborates on multiple projects involved in investigating the pathogenic or protective role of the immune response in various disease states.
In collaboration with Dr. Tom Motyka and Dr. Adam Foster, she is investigating the mechanisms of prolotherapy with a focus on the immune mediators being secreted in response to this therapeutic treatment. Given the inherent value in equipping future physicians with a solid foundation and understanding of research and the scientific method, she makes it a priority to involve medical students in research and help develop their scholarly skills.