Melanie Cocco, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Dept of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and Dept of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Dr. Cocco has a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and received her postdoctoral training in structure determination of cell-surface membrane proteins. Her research involves defining the structures of neuronal proteins with atomic-level detail. These structures are then used to design drugs that will affect protein function. The Cocco laboratory solved the structure of the neurite outgrowth inhibitor, Nogo, in a cell-membrane environment. The structure of Nogo was then used to develop a library of compounds that could block the growth inhibitor and promote neuronal regeneration. Experiments to test these compounds are ongoing.