Melanie Adams trained in anatomic and clinical pathology and did a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular biology at University of California, San Francisco. Her clinical background is in Transfusion Medicine and AIDS research, her post-doctoral fellowship focused on transcription regulation by the Glucocorticoid Receptor.
While studying small viral RNAs in HIV-infected cells she realized how human genes could be regulated by small RNAs in a manner similar to HIV. She has pursued this idea ever since, with special interest in the idea that “jumping” elements in our genes use some of the same tricks as HIV to drive evolution.
Her work and innovative approach regarding small RNAs have led to recent presentations at Cambridge University's Gurdon Institute laboratory, as well as Abcam's "Non-Coding RNA: New Mechanisms and Approaches" Conference.
Adams also has a lifelong passion for the arts and an active visual arts practice. Her fluency between artistic expression and molecular biology puts her in a unique position to express cutting edge science in an entertaining, accessible way.
Her connections in the arts community led to her initial collaboration with Los Angeles-based filmmaker Brent Bishop. Their animated films developed a fresh approach to visualizing molecules like RNA and DNA, which has proven useful for communicating complex theories and also serving as a multimedia educational tool.