Edwin McCleskey also organizes HHMI's science meetings, and he serves as the Science Department's liaison to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory synchrotron, to building projects at the Marine Biological Laboratory and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and to HHMI's Exceptional Research Opportunities Program.
McCleskey earned a BA in biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD in physiology and biophysics from the University of Washington. Before joining HHMI in 2007, McCleskey was a senior scientist at the Vollum Institute. He received the National Science Foundation's Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1987 and the Biophysical Society's Cole Award for contributions to membrane biophysics in 2006.
His research focused on the properties and functions of ion channels, the membrane proteins that underlie bioelectricity. Particular projects showed how calcium channels select calcium in preference to other ions, how opiates inhibit persistent pain without suppressing acute pain, and which ion channels are used to trigger the pain of a heart attack.