The Mediterranean basin lies in a geodynamically complex zone, including an extensional tectonic regime in the western basin, the Dead Sea Transform tectonics and the Cyprus/Hellenic subduction/collision zone in the east. Its semi-enclosed geographical setting and negative hydrological balance (evaporation > fresh water input) makes this basin particularly sensitive to climate change and resulted in the extraordinary event of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC). The acquisition of several new seismic surveys and wells, particularly in the Levant area, has recently provided a better image of the regional structural pattern and the depositional geometries of this basin. These data provide clues to understanding the Cenozoic history of the basin and surroundings, in relation to the interaction of several plates, the Messinian Salinity Crisis, and the influence of underlying Mesozoic structures. New drilling techniques can now overcome the technical challenges of drilling thick evaporite successions providing an opportunity to put together a proposal for IODP drilling with the MSC and underlying sediments as its target. Ongoing research efforts allowed to improve our understanding of several fundamental aspects of sedimentary basins formation and evolution such as the origin and growth of faults, the sedimentary pore pressure history and related migration of fluids, the source and patterns of sediment transport and slope processes, the formation of giant salt deposits and the nature and diversity of salt-related deep biosphere. This session aims to bring together the most recent results from ongoing research in the region and to discuss their significance for fundamental tectonic, sedimentary and biological processes in sedimentary basins and continental margins. Contributions that help constrain our understanding of this complex area are welcome from both the offshore and onshore sectors.