Overview

The Center for Structural Biology is an integrated platform of expertise, education, and infrastructure for making structural biology available as a tool to the general researcher.

Structures of macromolecules at atomic resolution have helped to revolutionize modern biology. Structural insight is often crucial for understanding the functions of biological macromolecules, including their interactions with small ligands (such as substrates, inhibitors, drugs) and other macromolecules (nucleic acids and/or proteins). Consequently, structural biology represents one of the pillars of basic biomedical research; it is indispensable for deciphering the details of life processes and for understanding the differences between natural and diseased states. Building on such insights, structural biology can assist in devising novel therapies, for example through structure-based or structure-aided drug design.

Advancing your Research with Structural Biology

Increases the quality of one’s research. Structural insight can complement, and sometimes complete, a picture obtained through biochemistry and cell biology. High-resolution structures can add an enormous amount of information. That information is useful for rationalizing the biochemical behavior of proteins and nucleic acids. Often, long-standing issues in the literature can be resolved.

Discovery through structural biology. While the analysis of high-resolution structures can provide many answers, new questions are often raised. These questions provide a basis for new hypotheses and new projects – and thus for new funding opportunities.

Improve collaborations. Good collaborations are difficult to establish and maintain. If a researcher can’t establish a good collaboration, or simply wants to drive a structural biology project by themself, the CSB will provide the opportunities to do so.

Opportunity to acquire new expertise. CSB has a strong educational mission. Graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and collaborating investigators are tutored in one-on-one sessions, small workshops and participation of CSB scientists in classroom lectures. The acquired know-how drives new projects in the collaborating labs, allowing a collaborating PI to make structural biology an integral component of her tool chest. Students and post-doctoral fellows obtain experience that will broaden their horizons and provide skills that will be valuable in their own independent careers.