James Edward Melvin, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Secretory Mechanisms and Dysfunction Section


Building 10-CRC, Room 5-2531
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892



Research Topics

The Secretory Mechanisms and Dysfunction Section investigates the molecular nature and function of the ion transport mechanisms involved in the fluid and electrolyte secretion process in the exocrine salivary gland.  We are probing the structure-function relationships of cotransporter, exchanger and channel proteins using a combination of molecular biology, gene modification, proteomics and functional studies in mouse and human salivary glands.  A high-throughput approach is being used to catalogue the human saliva proteome, to identify salivary biomarkers for human diseases, and to compile a comprehensive list of the plasma membrane proteins expressed in salivary glands.


James Melvin received his D.D.S. from Case Western Reserve University, a Ph.D. in neurobiology and anatomy from the University of Rochester, and did his postdoctoral training in NIDCR's (then) Clinical Investigation and Patient Care Branch. A former director of the Center for Oral Biology and Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of Rochester, Dr. Melvin has made numerous contributions to the field of salivary gland physiology and played a key role in the research consortium that decoded the saliva proteome. He directed a number of Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional National Research Award programs at the pre-doctoral, doctoral and postdoctoral level. 

Selected Publications

  1. Catalán MA, Flores CA, González-Begne M, Zhang Y, Sepúlveda FV, Melvin JE. Severe defects in absorptive ion transport in distal colons of mice that lack ClC-2 channels. Gastroenterology. 2012;142(2):346-54.

  2. Catalán MA, Scott-Anne K, Klein MI, Koo H, Bowen WH, Melvin JE. Elevated incidence of dental caries in a mouse model of cystic fibrosis. PLoS One. 2011;6(1):e16549.

  3. Romanenko VG, Catalán MA, Brown DA, Putzier I, Hartzell HC, Marmorstein AD, Gonzalez-Begne M, Rock JR, Harfe BD, Melvin JE. Tmem16A encodes the Ca2+-activated Cl- channel in mouse submandibular salivary gland acinar cells. J Biol Chem. 2010;285(17):12990-3001.

  4. Catalán MA, Nakamoto T, Gonzalez-Begne M, Camden JM, Wall SM, Clarke LL, Melvin JE. Cftr and ENaC ion channels mediate NaCl absorption in the mouse submandibular gland. J Physiol. 2010;588(Pt 4):713-24.

  5. Nakamoto T, Brown DA, Catalán MA, Gonzalez-Begne M, Romanenko VG, Melvin JE. Purinergic P2X7 receptors mediate ATP-induced saliva secretion by the mouse submandibular gland. J Biol Chem. 2009;284(8):4815-22.

This page was last updated on January 15th, 2019