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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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