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Melody Malek

Melody Malek


B.S. Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine, 2019

From: Milpitas, California

Joined David Lab: January 2021

Outside of lab: I enjoy reading, watching tv, and cooking

Research in David Lab:

DNA is prone to oxidative damage by both exogenous and endogenous sources. DNA damage must be repaired to maintain genomic integrity, and the base excision repair (BER) pathway has evolved to recognize and initiate repair caused by oxidative damage. My projects involve the glycosylases hOGG1 and NEIL 1, 2, and 3. My work with hOGG1 involves synthetic organic chemistry to synthesize potent and specific nucleic acid based inhibitors of the enzyme. It has been previously demonstrated by our lab that certain transition state analogue mimics tightly bind hOGG1’s active site, but it has yet to be demonstrated that these analogues can inhibit the enzyme in a cellular context, which is what my work focuses on. My second project (involving NEILs 1, 2, and 3) involves understanding whether repair of oxidative damage by the NEILs is affected by oxidants such as hydrogen peroxide and potassium bromate in a cellular context.

Previous Research Experience:

As an undergrad, I worked in Dr. James Nowick’s lab for 2.5 years. My first project involved synthesizing fluorescent mimics of the amyloid beta peptide, the aggregation of which has been linked to the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. My second project involved synthesizing fluorescent mimics of the peptidic antibiotic teixobactin, which shows no detectable resistance. This work led to a publication that details the mechanism by which teixobactin is able to localize to the lipid bilayer of gram-positive bacteria.

RSS Science Daily News

  • Significant glacial retreat in West Antarctica began in 1940s February 27, 2024
    Among the vast expanse of Antarctica lies the Thwaites Glacier, the world's widest glacier measuring about 80 miles on the western edge of the continent. Despite its size, the massive landform is losing about 50 billion tons of ice more than it is receiving in snowfall, which places it in a precarious position in respect […]
  • New world record for CIGS solar cells February 26, 2024
    A new record for electrical energy generation from CIGS solar cells has been reached. Scientists have achieved a 23.64 percent efficiency.
  • Metal scar found on cannibal star February 26, 2024
    When a star like our Sun reaches the end of its life, it can ingest the surrounding planets and asteroids that were born with it. Now, researchers have found a unique signature of this process for the first time -- a scar imprinted on the surface of a white dwarf star.
  • Drug limits dangerous reactions to allergy-triggering foods, Stanford Medicine-led study of kids finds February 26, 2024
    A drug that binds to allergy-causing antibodies can protect children from dangerous reactions to accidentally eating allergy-triggering foods, a new study found.
  • Barriers against Antarctic ice melt disappearing at the double February 23, 2024
    Undersea anchors of ice that help prevent Antarctica's land ice from slipping into the ocean are shrinking at more than twice the rate compared with 50 years ago, research shows. More than a third of these frozen moorings, known as pinning points, have decreased in size since the turn of the century, experts say. Further […]


Dr. Sheila S. David

Department of Chemistry
One Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616