Melcher Laboratory

Structural Biology and Biochemistry

The Melcher Laboratory studies the structure and function of proteins that have central roles in cellular signaling. In addition to their fundamental physiological roles, most signaling proteins are also important targets of therapeutic drugs. Determination of the three-dimensional structures of protein-drug complexes at atomic resolution provides a detailed understanding of how a drug binds its target and modifies its activity. This knowledge allows the rational design of new and better drugs for diseases such as diabetes, cancer and neurological disorders. Three areas of current focus in the lab are the cellular energy sensor AMPK, transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of plant MYC transcription factors and WNT/Norrin morphogen signaling.