Melissa has more than 15 years of research experience, in both academia and industry, and is interested in translating science into products that improve lives. She attended the University of Minnesota, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in genetics, cell biology and development and completed her PhD work in molecular biology, focusing on human disorders including muscular dystrophy and ataxia. Melissa has co-authored several articles published in scientific journals, completed due diligence on novel biomedical and pharmaceutical technologies, and designed and managed clinical trials. She has an active interest in spinal cord injury research and is on the board of directors for the Get Up Stand Up to Cure Paralysis Foundation. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, cheering on the Minnesota Gophers, and playing with her daughter.