Melissa Carpenter received a Ph.D. in the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine. For the last 15 years, she has worked on the development of cell therapies using human adult and embryonic stem cells, in academia and industry, in the United States and Canada. This work involved discovery research and the translation of this research into therapies for regenerative medicine, including developing strategies for preclinical development and navigating the regulatory issues surrounding stem cell therapies. This diversity provides a unique perspective concerning the successful development of cell therapies.
At CytoTherapeutics (now StemCells, Inc), Carpenter derived human neural stem cells and successfully developed the media formulation used for scale-up of these cells. Dr. Carpenter has been involved with human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research since the field was established. She was Director of Stem Cell Biology at Geron Corporation where she was responsible for managing discovery research and preclinical programs aimed at developing therapies for Parkinson’s Disease, Spinal Cord Injury, Cardiac Disease, Liver Disease and Diabetes.
After leaving Geron, Carpenter held the position of Principal Investigator and Scientist at the Robarts Research Institute and Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. Her Canadian laboratory focused on the epigenetic status of undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells and the signaling mechanisms involved in self-renewal.
As Vice President of Research and Development at Novocell Inc, Carpenter was responsible for the translation of the research program to preclinical development and developing the regulatory strategy for the delivery of an encapsulated human embryonic stem cell derived product into Diabetes patients.
Carpenter is credited with more than 20 issued patents and over 45 publications in stem cell biology and related fields.