University of Bath
Modern biology is always looking for improvement by incorporating the latest
technologies to further refine our knowledge of life. More and more its research
must have solid applications at a time when science holds the key to the future.
Structural molecular biology (an interdisciplinary science) has been on top of
these advances, combining physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology, to
produce some of the best scientific breakthroughs of the twentieth century.
Structural biology is constantly evolving and feeding from its own discoveries,
promising to provide essential information on nucleic acids, proteins and their
Proteins are essential molecules of all living organisms, carrying out most of the
function in a living cell. Their variety of activity and interactions with other
biological components make a fascinating subject for investigation. Furthermore,
proteins are often involved in pathological processes, understanding their
molecular mechanism and structural alteration are therefore critical in finding new
approaches to fight diseases.
Projects in my laboratory consist of studying proteins with new therapeutic
interests to understand their mechanisms of action and help engineer new drug
compounds for human diseases. Using state-of-the- art technology and equipment
in protein X-ray crystallography, we can look in detail into the 3D structure of
complex macromolecules at atomic level. X-ray crystallography is a unique
technique in giving detailed information of molecules which can be used by all
who have interests in biological processes. Armed with this information novel
drugs can be designed that target a particular protein, or enzymes can rationally
be engineered for specific industrial processes.