Melissa L. Fishel, PhD

Associate Research Professor of Pediatrics

Primary Appointment: Department of Pediatrics

Joint Appointment: Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology


  • B.S.: University of Dayton, Dayton, OH
  • PhD:Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
  • Postdoctorate:University of Chicago

Current Research Interests:

Melissa L. Fishel, PhD is a tumor cell biologist who has been interested in using more relevant in vitro and ex vivo models of cancer including 3-dimensional co-cultures of tumor cells and relevant cells from the microenvironment. The importance of not only targeting the tumor is clear, therefore, novel approaches that target the tumor microenvironment in addition to signaling pathways within the tumor may offer the most promising method against cancer. My lab’s interests have been in exploring rationale molecular targets in difficult-to-treat, refractive cancers such as pancreatic cancer as well as glioblastoma and pediatric leukemia. My research goals are focused on the identification and preclinical validation of cancer-specific therapies. We use tumor cell biology to study the survival, proliferation, and signaling following treatment with chemotherapeutic agents and novel small molecule inhibitors. We are currently focusing on using more clinically relevant systems to study cancer by developing and using 3-Dimensional tissue culture models to investigate critical molecular targets including STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription-3) and APE1/Ref-1 (AP endonuclease1 / Redox effector factor 1). The Fishel laboratory also utilizes animal models to investigate the efficacy of targeting these pathways. My lab’s research is translational research as we continually seek to apply what we learn about the cancer cells and the environment they grow in to a cure for cancer.

Melissa Fishel, PhD
Office: 317-274-8810
Address: 1044 West Walnut Street, R4-321, Indianapolis, IN 46202