Melissa is a Neuroscientist, having earned her B.S. in Neuroscience from UCLA in 2000, and her Ph.D. in Medical Neuroscience from Indiana University School of Medicine in 2016. Her graduate studies focused on novel treatment approaches for traumatic spinal cord injury, utilizing bioengineered hydrogels embedded with various trophic factor combinations. Currently, she is investigating the astrocytic influence on neuronal network function following mild, repetitive concussive brain injury. She will combine MRI and behavioral techniques in transgenic rodent models, specifically targeting cortical astrocytes.  In her free time she enjoys creative projects, playing the piano, and learning Mandarin.