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Melissa is an expert in stem cell biology. In 2017, she was awarded her PhD from the Western Sydney University, her thesis entitled ‘Investigating the role of BEST1 protein in Best Vitelliform Macular dystrophy using a novel disease-specific human embryonic stem cell line’, where she began to define the molecular consequences of BEST1 mutation on ion channels.

As a post-doctoral researcher at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, she focussed on risk stratification of Long QT syndrome type 2 utilizing induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. 

In 2021, Melissa moved back into inherited retinal diseases to work at the Stem Cell Medicine Group at Children’s Medical Research Institute under the supervision of Dr Anai Gonzalez-Cordero, focussing on modelling and treatments for Stargardt’s disease using retinal organoids. In her spare time Mel enjoys walking her dog Bundaberg and learning Korean from K-dramas.

Melissa Mangala

Research Officer