Structural/Chemical Biology and Molecular Design
The completion of the Human Genome Project brought new challenges in biomedical research. Knowledge obtained through classical genetic and biochemical approaches was augmented by a wealth of genomic and proteomic data generated by newer high-throughput technologies. New experimental and computational approaches are required to integrate and interpret these data properly in order to gain molecular understanding of fundamental biological mechanisms and to design small-molecule probes that can perturb biological pathways in informative and potentially therapeutic ways.
Mount Sinai’s training area in Structural/Chemical Biology and Molecular Design (SMD) is at the interface between two naturally allied fields: Structural Biology and Chemical Biology. The former is an established area of modern biology with an extensive history at Mount Sinai, which is focused on the elucidation of macromolecular structure and function through x-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, cryo-electron microscopy, mass-spectrometry and biophysical studies of single molecules. The latter is an emerging discipline encompassing traditional aspects of medicinal and bioorganic chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biophysics, enhanced by recent advances in genetics, genomics and proteomics. Both structural and chemical biology integrate experimental and computational methods, so that experimentation is guided by theory and vice versa; molecular computational biology and bioinformatics are therefore strongly represented in SMD.
Iban Ubarretxena, PhD is Associate Professor, Department of Structural and Chemical Biology. His laboratory investigates the role of eukaryotic membrane proteins in cellular processes and in disease.
Marta Filizola, PhD is Associate Professor, Department of Structural and Chemical Biology. Her laboratory uses computational biophysics methods to investigate biological processes mediated by membrane protein systems.
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