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Giselle Meléndez, MD

Giselle Melendez, MD, research foci are the cardiovascular side effects induced by chemotherapy treatments with specific interest in myocardial fibrosis and its role in the pathogenesis of heart failure. Her partnerships focus on cardio-oncology and improved interventions for breast cancer and lymphoma through nonhuman primate models and clinical trials of chemotherapy-induced heart failure.

Giselle Meléndez, MD

About Giselle Meléndez

Meléndez completed medical school in Venezuela and worked as a general primary care practitioner in the country for several years. In 2006, she moved to the United States to pursue a career in science. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship in cell biology and anatomy from the University of South Carolina, focusing her research on heart failure and extracellular remodeling and completed additional postdoctoral training in preclinical models of cardiovascular disease in non-human primates with the department of pathology at Wake Forest School of Medicine. In 2015, she joined Wake Forest School of Medicine’s department of cardiology to conduct basic and population cardiovascular research.

Through murine, nonhuman primate models and clinical studies, Meléndez explores the underlying causes of cardiac fibrosis and heart failure resulting from cancer therapies with a specific focus on cardiotoxic side effects associated with anthracycline treatment frequently used to treat breast cancer and lymphomas. Through partnership with Merck & Co, she developed the African Green monkey model of heart failure induced by the chemotherapy medication Doxorubicin. She evaluates cardiac function and structure and myocardial tissue using novel cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and mapping techniques with the goal of identifying the underlying causes to cardiotoxicity. Her interest extends to the role of neuropeptides in cardiotoxicity, with studies focused on determining the impact of the sensory nerve peptide, substance P, on the establishment of myocardial fibrosis after Doxorubicin treatment for breast cancer (international collaboration with Dr. Scott Levick, University of Sydney)

Actively involved in clinical trials, Meléndez uses cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging to study the effects of statin therapy on myocardial fibrosis after chemotherapy. She also examines imaging biomarkers to forecast cardiotoxicity in patients beginning chemotherapy treatment. She has extensive experience partnering with industry to develop animal models of chemotherapy-induced toxicity and cardiac fibrosis, with unique expertise in noninvasive cardiac imaging to assess heart function and structures and performing mapping techniques for cardiac tissue characterization.


Giselle Meléndez, MD, assistant professor in the department of internal medicine, section on cardiovascular medicine with a cross-appointment in the department of pathology, section on comparative medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, specializes in:

  • Cardio-oncology
  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging
  • Mapping techniques
  • Cardiac fibrosis
  • Myocardial remodeling
  • Heart failure