Structural Biology Program
The Melinda Diver Lab
Most drugs target membrane proteins, accessible on the surface of cells, to alter the transport of ions and molecules and the transduction of cellular signals. The Diver lab explores the biological functions and molecular mechanisms of understudied transmembrane protein families with the goal of revealing critical knowledge about their roles in human physiology and disease. How do these poorly understood ion channel and transporter families permit ion flux? What protein movements are involved? Does their dysregulation play a role in disease? These understudied proteins represent valuable potential drug targets for diseases, such as chronic pain and cancer, for which there is an urgent need to develop more effective therapeutic strategies.
The Diver lab’s approach is comprehensive, spanning tissues to cells to high-resolution structures, and exploits a range of biochemical, structural, biophysical, and physiological approaches to address questions concerning mechanisms and consequences of lipid-protein and protein-protein interactions and their effects on membrane protein function. As merely solving a structure provides only a superficial understanding of a protein’s function, we emphasize complementary techniques that provide a more complete understanding of a protein’s function and how it relates to human biology and therapeutics. For example, we identify modulatory drugs to yield unique and powerful pharmacological tools that have utility for our basic research and drug discovery efforts. Importantly, we aim to probe membrane protein structure and function in more native environments, thereby bridging gaps in knowledge between in vitro studies and in vivo models.
More information about our research can be found at https://diverlab.org.
Diver, M.M. and Long, S.B. (2014). Mutational analysis of the integral membrane methyltransferase isoprenylcysteine carboxyl methyltransferase (ICMT) reveals potential substrate binding sites. J. Biol. Chem. 289, 26007-26020.
Melinda M. Diver, PhD
- The Diver lab studies the physiological roles and molecular mechanisms of understudied membrane-embedded proteins with the goal of revealing novel therapeutic targets for diseases such as pain and cancer.
- BSc, Biochemistry, University of British Columbia (2007)
- PhD, Biochemistry and Structural Biology, Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences (2015)
- Postdoc, University of California, San Francisco (2021)
- BAc, Economics, Peking University (2013)
- BSc, Biological Sciences, Peking University (2013)
- PhD, Structural Biology/Biochemistry, Peking University (2018)
- Josie Robertson Investigator (2021-2026)
- NCCIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) (2019-2024)
- A. P. Giannini Postdoctoral Fellowship and Career Award (2017-2019)
- American Heart Association Pre-doctoral Fellowship (2012-2013)
- Dorris J. Hutchinson Fellowship (2010-2011)
To learn more about available postdoctoral opportunities, please visit our Career Center
To learn more about compensation and benefits for postdoctoral researchers at MSK, please visit Resources for Postdocs
Get in Touch
Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.
MSK requires doctors and faculty members to report (“disclose”) the relationships and financial interests they have with external entities. As a commitment to transparency with our community, we make that information available to the public.
Melinda M. Diver discloses the following relationships and financial interests:
No disclosures meeting criteria for time period
The information published here is for a specific annual disclosure period. There may be differences between information on this and other public sites as a result of different reporting periods and/or the various ways relationships and financial interests are categorized by organizations that publish such data.
This page and data include information for a specific MSK annual disclosure period (January 1, 2022 through disclosure submission in spring 2023). This data reflects interests that may or may not still exist. This data is updated annually.