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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

  • Down goes antimatter! Gravity's effect on matter's elusive twin is revealed September 27, 2023
    For the first time, in a unique laboratory experiment at CERN, researchers have observed individual atoms of antihydrogen fall under the effects of gravity. In confirming antimatter and regular matter are gravitationally attracted, the finding rules out gravitational repulsion as the reason why antimatter is largely missing from the observable universe.
  • Decreasing biodiversity may promote spread of viruses September 27, 2023
    How are environmental changes, loss of biodiversity, and the spread of pathogens connected? The answer is a puzzle. Researchers have now described one piece of that puzzle, showing that the destruction of tropical rainforests harms the diversity of mosquito species. At the same time, more resilient species of mosquitoes become more prevalent -- which also […]
  • Study sheds new light on strange lava worlds September 27, 2023
    In a new study, scientists have shown that sweeping molten oceans have a large influence on the observed properties of hot rocky Super-Earths, such as their size and evolutionary path.
  • New insights into the atmosphere and star of an exoplanet September 25, 2023
    A new study of the intriguing TRAPPIST-1 exoplanetary system has demonstrated the complex interaction between the activity of the system's star and its planetary features.
  • Did life exist on Mars? Other planets? With AI's help, we may know soon September 25, 2023
    Scientists have discovered a simple and reliable test for signs of past or present life on other planets -- 'the holy grail of astrobiology.' Researchers report that, with 90% accuracy, their artificial intelligence-based method distinguished modern and ancient biological samples from those of abiotic origin.


Dr. Sheila S. David

Department of Chemistry
One Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616