Melanie’s interest in medicine and biology developed at an early age and was nurtured throughout high school, where she was captivated by life at the sub-cellular scale. Pursuing her passions, she studied molecular biology and genetics as an undergraduate scholarship student, from which she was directly admitted to a PhD program. Melanie completed her doctoral degree in molecular and cellular biology at the University of Guelph as a Brock Scholar and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Vanier Fellow, during which she investigated biochemical “wiring” in cells that cause them to misbehave and give rise to diseases like cancer. She also fostered innovation in the classroom, and developed a first-year University course on science communication. Recognizing the unmet need for mechanistic research into Lyme and associated diseases, she switched gears to focus on microbiology and the consequences of host infection. In 2014, Melanie co-founded the Canadian Lyme Science Alliance as a platform through which academics and clinicians promote rigorous scientific study, thoughtful dialogue, and ethical stewardship of tick-borne illness. She was later appointed as the inaugural Director of the G. Magnotta Lyme Disease Research Lab at the University of Guelph, which she developed from the ground up with a mandate to improve diagnostic testing and treatment. Her leadership and scholarly achievements have been recognized with several awards.