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Dr. Melissa Kirven-Brooks

Staff Scientist - Astrobiology Institute at NASA Ames Research Center.

Dr. Melissa Kirven-Brooks received a B.S. in Biology from Brown University and a Ph.D. from MIT in Applied Biological Sciences. She has worked at NASA Ames Research Center for the past 23 years, first as science lead on the development of hardware intended for the International Space Station: an Incubator and a Cell Culture Unit. Next, she served as the Deputy Project Scientist and Project Scientist for Space Station and Shuttle experiments, and currently, she manages the Science Programs for the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

Dr. Melissa was born and raised in New York City. She attended college and grad school in New England, and when she had a chance to move to the Bay Area to do a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford, she took the opportunity to leave the snow behind. She and her husband moved back to Massachusetts, in a moment of madness, and their three children were born there. When contemplating another winter of snow, this time housebound with newborn twins, her husband took the opportunity to take a sabbatical at Stanford and she moved back to the area in 1995. After a brief stint as a tech writer, reading and writing about tumors and chemopreventives, she took a job at Ames. Her children have all left the Bay Area for college and grad schools, and she doesn’t imagine any of them will follow in her steps. She hopes to encourage students to become the next generation of NASA scientists.

Melissa Kirven-Brooks presented at the Jobs of Tomorrow program on March 27th, 2019 and on Feb 14th 2020.