Melissa graduated with a BSc in Biotechnology from Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia in 2008. She then worked at the Genome Institute of Singapore for one year. In 2009, she joined the Stem Cell and Cancer Institute, Indonesia, as a research assistant to develop molecular biomarker assays for colorectal and breast cancers. In 2010, she was transferred to Kalbe Genomics Laboratory, Indonesia, and worked as a research supervisor responsible for the lab biomarker assay services and QA/QC of the lab. She received an Australian Awards Scholarship in 2012 to study for her doctorate degree, where she focused on elucidating the recruitment of human telomerase to telomeres in cancer cells. She completed her PhD in Medicine in 2017 from The University of Sydney and soon after joined the Ciccarelli lab in 2018.
In collaboration with Astra Zeneca through the Crick-AZ Alliance program, Melissa works on a project to uncover synthetic gene dependencies in colorectal cancer. By exploiting these cancer vulnerabilities, the project aims to find new targets for cancer treatment.