Macromolecules underlie all biological processes and play either dynamic roles in catalysis or signaling or static roles in scaffolding or information storage. Knowing the structure of the proteins and nucleic acids involved in a particular biological process is key to understanding their biochemical function as well as their specificity and mechanism of action.
Research conducted by the investigators in the Structural Biology program is aimed at elucidating the structural basis for a variety of important biological processes, including signal transduction, membrane transport, microbial pathogenesis, neural development, intercellular interactions, and the regulation of gene expression. Among the methods being used to examine macromolecular structure are x-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, biochemical and genetic analysis, and computer-assisted structural modeling. In addition, high resolution ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging methods are being developed to visualize mammalian organs in utero and after birth.
Rebecca Hawkins, Anne Ng