headshot photo of Dr. Melissa Rowland-Goldsmith

Dr. Melissa Rowland-Goldsmith

Associate Professor, Instructional Faculty
Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences; Health Sciences
Schmid College of Science and Technology; Biological Sciences
Office Location: Keck Center for Science and Engineering 263
Phone: (714) 744-7892
Chapman University, Bachelor of Science
University of California, Riverside, Ph.D.


Through my unique teaching style, I have the opportunity to change countless students’ lives by introducing them to a varied and holistic approach to the study of molecular biology. The outcomes of many of my students are representative of what can be seen from using many unique and special teaching methods. Several former students have told me that my courses helped to prepare them for graduate or professional schools.  Though I certainly do not know the outcomes or career path of every student I have taught, I know that of the biology and biochemistry majors I have counseled, mentored, or taught, more than ten have started or completed medical, dental school, PA or NP programs, several have started or completed Ph.D. programs, and a few have started or completed Masters programs. Several former research students are currently enrolled in Ph.D. programs and have continued in cancer research.  These former students want to pursue an academic career.

My laboratory focuses on studying human pancreatic cancer which is the 4th leading cause of cancer related death in the United States.  The ability of pomegranate juice extract (PJE) to stimulate apoptosis (programmed cell death) and inhibit cancer cell invasion in several cancer types has been attributed to its high polyphenol content.  Since decreased pancreatic cancer patient survival is correlated with evasion of apoptotic pathways and changes in the extracellular matrix, we initially hypothesized that treatment of human pancreatic cancer cells with PJE would promote apoptosis and cell adhesion associated proteins. Currently, my lab is studying the molecular mechanism involved in promoting apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells treated with PJE.  We are also assessing the pomegranate phytochemical effects on pancreatic cancer cell cycle arrest.  It is my sincere desire to continue these teaching and research endeavors at Chapman for many years to come.


BIOL 208 Introduction to Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology 

BIOL 209 Introduction to Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology Laboratory

BIOL 436 Molecular Genetics

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

Rowland-Goldsmith M.A. (2012) author of power-point lectures (chapter’s 1 through 4) for Thieman and Palladino’s Introduction to Biotechnology, 3rd edition textbook, Benjamin Cummings Publishing, San Francisco, CA
Akahoshi,L., Berrigan,E., Boone,M., Chesne,R., James,C., Lawless,N., Punton,S., Singh,H., Swinford,N., Zylstra,A. and Rowland-Goldsmith,M. (2011) Jacaranda mimosifolia glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPC-1) gene, partial cds. GenBank accession #JF440302.1 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nuccore/JF440302.1