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Melissa Srougi

Associate Teaching Professor

American Chemical Society

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Sigma Xi

Jordan Hall 6103


Dr. Srougi received her B.S. in Biology with a minor in Biochemistry from the University of Toledo (Toledo, OH), where she participated in undergraduate research, the UToledo-Salford Exchange program, and club lacrosse. After graduation, she entered the Biomedical Scientist Training Program (B.S.T.P.) at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH), where she received a PhD in Pharmacology. While there, she was a graduate student under the guidance of Dr. David A. Boothman. She was awarded a Department of Defense pre-doctoral fellowship to study the molecular mechanisms of natural products in the treatment of human cancers.

Dr. Srougi then did her postdoctoral research with Dr. Keith Burridge at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC). Her American Cancer Society funded research examined the modulation of Rho GTPases by the DNA damage response and identified a number of DNA damage-inducible Rho GEFs. Following her time in the Burridge lab, she pursed a teaching-focused postdoc in the Biotechnology Program at North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC) where she developed an interest in the study of teaching and learning.

From 2014-2019, Dr. Srougi was an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Chemistry at High Point University (High Point, NC). She co-led the restructuring of the Biochemistry curriculum for American Chemical Society certification, co-authored Molecular Biology Techniques 4th Ed textbook and was part of the leadership team that established and directed the Mobile Community Lab. In addition, she trained a number of undergraduate students in independent laboratory research projects.

Dr. Srougi joined the faculty in the Biotechnology Program and the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences at North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC) in July 2019. She continues her investigations with undergraduate research students on DNA damage inducible Rho GEFs and NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) bioactivatable quinones for precision targeting of human cancers with elevated NQO1 levels. In addition, her pedagogical research examines collaborative peer-learning and growth mindset interventions to improve critical thinking and student learning outcomes in STEM courses.

Dr. Srougi has scientific publications with undergraduate co-authors, has developed and taught a variety of inquiry-based, college-level science courses and published/presented a number of peer-reviewed papers in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Dr. Srougi has a love for inquiry-based teaching methods, performing research with undergraduate students, and scientific outreach.

View Publications at Google Scholar

Area(s) of Expertise

Cancer Biology and Experimental Chemotherapeutics
There is an immediate need to identify chemotherapeutic agents that specifically and efficaciously treat breast tumors, especially those that have genetic signatures where no personalized strategies are yet available. Work in the Srougi labs seeks to discover novel targeted therapeutics for the treatment of human breast cancers, particularly those with mutations in BRCA1/2. NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) is a detoxification enzyme that is over-expressed in a wide-variety of solid tumors including head/neck, pancreatic, non-small cell lung carcinoma, prostate, and breast cancers. The lab is focused on exploiting compounds that are bioactivated by NQO1 (aka NQO1 bioactivatable quinones) for targeted cancer therapy. Two NQO1 bioactivatable quinones actively investigated by the lab are beta-lapachone and isobutyldeoxynyboquinone. We are also investigating the synergistic effects of combinatorial treatment of NQO1 bioactivatable quinones with DNA repair modulators, for genotype-driven cytotoxicity. The Srougi lab utilizes pharmacology, fluorescence microscopy, RNA-seq and metabolomics data-driven approaches to uncover the molecular mechanisms initiated following treatment with these agents in cancerous versus normal cells and tissues.

Discipline-Based Educational Research
Educational research in the Srougi lab strives to develop and assess strategies to improve student learning outcomes in STEM courses. Our research involves using collaborative peer-learning, course-based undergraduate research experiences as well as metacognitive interventions to achieve these goals in undergraduate students of all levels and diverse backgrounds.


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Date: 02/01/24 - 1/31/27
Amount: $404,868.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Modeling complex biological systems requires combining wet lab and theoretical interdisciplinary research efforts. This REU program will transform undergraduate research training by bringing leading-edge hypothesis-driven research addressing complex biological modeling questions into the hands of diverse undergraduates, especially persons excluded due to their ethnicity, race (PEER) and/or disability status including the deaf/hard-of-hearing. Students will cultivate their professional development and science communication skills by populating the REU website, constructing a public science exhibit for the Science House, and a final university-wide presentation on their mentored research. Trainees will cultivate a community of practice through weekly cohort meetings on the responsible conduct of research; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); career pathways; and scientific communication. Students will be recruited broadly using close-captioned video and guided application materials. Programmatic assessment will be performed annually online using the Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment survey tool and program-specific survey questions. Continued communication with program alumni will be used to foster the community of practice and determine career trajectories.

Date: 01/01/22 - 12/31/23
Amount: $249,961.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of the Air Force (USAF)

Biomanufacturing differs from chemical manufacturing as the process operations are significantly different in deference to the lability of biomolecules and cells. Biomanufacturing also differs in the expertise needed for designing, developing and implementing bioprocesses as well as the nature of safety and ethical issues that must be addressed. In the nascent industrial biotechnology sector, the pace of change and innovation, along with societal impacts, must be part and parcel of workforce training and education. Rather than develop separate educational programs for molecular biotechnology, bioprocessing and the ethical issues related to the field, we propose to provide an integrated platform, based on the best pedagogical practices and educational technologies (e.g., including the use of augmented reality for remote laboratory training) that brings workers up-to-speed and helps them maintain the needed expertise to be effective in this emerging sector. BIT (, BTEC ( and GES ( at NC State have considerable experience in this type of education for our campus and beyond, and propose to leverage this experience to contribute to the BioMADE initiative. This integrated educational training will help build a sustainable, domestic, end-to-end bioindustrial manufacturing ecosystem that will enable domestic bioindustrial manufacturing at all scales, develop technologies to enhance U.S. bioindustrial competitiveness, de-risk investment in relevant infrastructure, and expand the biomanufacturing workforce to realize the economic promise of industrial biotechnology. Recent attention to issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and broader societal awakenings of academic and corporate responsibility have raised important questions that reach well beyond our laboratories, classrooms, manufacturing facilities, and into society. The current and future biomanufacturing workforce, need to be prepared for these complexities. The workforce training and education package developed here will be sensitive to student/worker time commitment and be maintained such that emerging developments and innovations can be readily incorporated.

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