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Integrative Structural and Computational Biology

Introduction

Over the past 35 years, structural biology at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has earned a world-class reputation, playing a key role in the growth and development of the Institute as a whole. The Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology has considerable expertise in structural, biophysical, and computational approaches to tackle the most pressing problems and challenges in the biological and biomedical sciences. 

Structural and computational biology are continuously evolving with significant recent advances, particularly in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and with the x-ray free-electron laser (XFEL). Such advances in technologies, methodologies, and accelerated throughput are enabling the determination of structures of macromolecules and assemblies of increasing complexity and at greater speeds. Challenging structural targets which only a few years ago seemed impossible, are now being solved with remarkable regularity. In addition, powerful computation and bioinformatics are playing an increasingly important role in all facets of biological research. Thus, the integration of computational methods with the current arsenal of biophysical techniques is critical for addressing complex biological systems. The advent of integrative and hybrid methods is already paying huge dividends where seemingly intractable problems can be approached using a combination of methods.

The foundation of the department is our illustrious and dedicated faculty and their groups who are well versed in cutting-edge biophysical techniques, including electron microscopy, x-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, single-molecule biophysics, and computational biology. Our faculty work in many diverse fields, which include infectious disease, immunology, neurobiology, cell biology, cancer biology, and molecular biology, and on specific areas, such as structure-based vaccine design, intrinsically disordered proteins, membrane proteins, enzyme mechanisms, metalloproteins, nuclear receptors, cell adhesion, RNA-protein complexes, DNA repair, protein–ligand docking, metabolomic and genomic informatics, metabolic, proteomic and transcriptional regulation, and drug discovery. The department is dedicated to research and training in all areas of biophysics and computational biology especially as they pertain to the next generation of challenges and opportunities in the biological and biomedical sciences.