Melissa G. Lechner, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Her clinical and research interests are related to the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid diseases and thyroid cancer, and endocrine disease resulting from cancer therapy (onco-endocrinology). She has established an OncoEndocrinology clinic at UCLA to care for patients with endocrine side effects from cancer immunotherapy, targeted therapies, and conventional cancer treatments. She also has expertise in the treatment of thyroid autoimmune disease, thyroid nodules (including biopsy), and thyroid cancer.
Dr. Lechner leads multiple prospective clinical trials at UCLA studying thyroid disease and cancer immunotherapy. She has received funding from the American Thyroid Association and Endocrine Fellows Foundation for her research and has been invited to speak nationally and internationally on the role of the immune system in cancer. She has published articles in Thyroid, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, The Journal of Immunology, Cancer, and Clinical Cancer Research, including original research and invited reviews, and serves on the American Thyroid Association Patient Affairs and Education Committee and National Comprehensive Cancer Network of Management of Immunotherapy Toxicity Side Effects guidance panel.
After finishing her combined MD and PhD training in the joint USC Keck School of Medicine/Cal Tech physician-scientist training program, Dr. Lechner completed residencies in internal medicine and pediatrics at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital of the Harvard Medical School. In 2018, she joined UCLA as a clinical fellow in endocrinology and post-doctoral researcher in the prestigious Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) program. In 2020, Dr. Lechner joined the faculty at UCLA.