For over 25 years, Melissa has worked on the development of cell therapies using human adult and pluripotent stem cells in academia and industry. Her work involves discovery research and the translation of this research into therapeutic products, including developing strategies for cell manufacturing, preclinical development, and paving the regulatory path for the development of stem cell therapies. Melissa serves as a member of the Board of Directors of TreeFrog Therapeutics (developing iPS-derived cell therapies) and the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). In addition, she serves on the scientific advisory committee of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine (ReNew).
Prior to ElevateBio, Melissa founded Carpenter Group Consulting, which works with early-stage companies, academic groups, and investors to translate discovery-based research into stem cell therapies suitable for clinical entry. In her consulting role, Melissa has provided strategic, scientific, manufacturing, preclinical, and regulatory guidance for the development of over 75 cell and gene therapies. Melissa has a track record of launching programs and forming and building teams focused on early-stage stem cell therapies.
Melissa has been named inventor on 34 issued US patents and has over 50 peer-reviewed publications in the stem cell field. She received her PhD from the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology at University of California, Irvine, and received her B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Oregon.