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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Structural Biology Platform

Structural biology sits at the interface of physics, chemistry and biology and is concerned with the molecular structure of biological macromolecules.

The central premise of Structural biology is that if we can visualize the molecular details of a macromolecule, we can gain deep insight into its function—that is, "form defines function."

The Bloomberg School is unique among schools of public health in applying a dedicated structural biology platform to address problems in public health. Such problems include understanding: infectious disease (e.g., malaria and tuberculosis), quality control in biology (how cells react to DNA and protein “damage”) as well as cancer and other aging-related chronic diseases. The latter two of which represent major initiatives within the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, in conjunction with the Department of Molecular Biology and Immunology and the Malaria Research Institute, houses a state-of-the-art X-ray crystallography facility. This facility possesses equipment for the structure determination of biological macromolecules:

Three independent research groups currently operate the X-ray facility. For more information on the studies performed by these laboratories, please visit their faculty web pages: