Melissa (Missy) Wong, Ph.D.

Melissa Wong
Associate Professor and Vice Chair
Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology

Graduate Program Memberships:

Professional Memberships:

American Association for Cancer Research
International Society for Stem Cell Research
American Gastroenterological Association


1987 - University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
1994 - Bowman Gray School of Medicine/Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC


1995-1998 - Post-doctoral fellow, Washington University School of Medicine
1998-2001 - Instructor, Washington University School of Medicine
2001-2008 - Assistant Professor, OHSU
2008-present - Associate Professor, OHSU
2013-present - Vice Chair, Cell & Developmental Biology

Charlie Gast

Education: B.A. Biochemistry/Molecular Biology at Lewis and Clark College, Research Assistant, Dr. Brian Wong's laboratory, Infectious Disease, OHSU M.D./Ph.D. program

Scientific Interests: The role macrophages play in promoting the progression of cancer. Specifically, investigating phenotypic alterations in cancer that are a result of hybrid cells forming via fusion between cancer cells and macrophages. Also, testing specific immunotherapies that target macrophage function to treat metastatic disease.

Michael Parappilly
Research Assistant II

Education: B.S. Human Physiology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Scientific Interests: Understanding tumor behavior at the molecular and cellular level, and how a novel population of circulating cells affects disease progression and metastasis.
Nicholas Smith


Education: B.S. Chemistry, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY. Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of Oregon, Institute of Molecular Biology, Dr. Ken Prehoda’s lab, Eugene, OR. Postdoctoral Fellow, OHSU, Wong lab.

Scientific Interests: I am interested in understanding mechanisms of stem cell regulation during homeostasis and in diseases such as cancer.  My current research focuses on understanding the molecular function of a cancer stem cell marker and cell adhesion molecule, CD166, in regulating homeostatic signaling within the intestinal stem cell niche.  In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and three kids, trips to the Oregon coast, fishing, snowboarding, playing golf and brewing beer.

John Swain

Senior Research Assistant

Education: Education: B.S. Biology, University of Southern California.

Interests: Cooking and going on road trips.

Luai Zarour

Surgery Resident