Melody is a biophysicist and structural biologist who studies how cells communicate via the protein receptors expressed on the cell surface. She is an assistant professor in basic sciences and the scientific director of the electron microscopy core at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. She is an active proponent of scientific outreach and communication and is dedicated to sharing STEM opportunities and engaging with diverse groups.
Melody earned a degree in biochemistry from the University of Michigan, where she conducted organic chemistry and biochemistry research. She received her Ph.D. in biophysics from the Scripps Research Institute in 2016 under the supervision of Bridget Carragher and Clinton S. Potter, where she developed new methods in cryogenic electron microscopy (cryoEM) to boost resolution and address heterogeneity in protein assemblies. She did her post-doc with Yifan Cheng at the University of California, San Francisco, where she applied these new technologies to map out the structural dynamics of integrin and reveal how it enables an unexpected mechanism for TGF-Beta activation. Currently, she and her lab hope to develop a comprehensive picture of the leukocyte cell surface to understand how white blood cells react to and engage with their surroundings.
Outside of lab, Melody likes to do many typical Seattle things including hiking, eating salmon, drinking coffee, and talking about the gray skies. She also enjoys yoga, building ikea furniture, paddle boarding, throwing pottery, and cooking (especially anything by Kenji López-Alt).