Areas of Study
The training in SMD endows emerging scientists with the theoretical and practical underpinnings to explore new research directions that encompass the fields of structural and chemical biology, experimental therapeutics and translational research. It also provides a solid basis in quantitative approaches derived from molecular theory and experiment. Both structural and chemical biology research efforts at Mount Sinai incorporate experimental and computational approaches. Structural methodologies in use include x-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, cryo-electron microscopy and single-molecule biophysics. Chemical experimentations include synthetic chemistry, molecular design, high-throughput screening, and chemical library construction. Chemical-genetic approaches include the design of mutant enzymes sensitized to inhibition by specifically engineered small molecules and the introduction of these enzymes into cells in place of the wild-type proteins, both to test effects of single-enzyme inhibition on biochemical pathway function in intact cells, and to identify protein substrates of single enzymes in complex mixtures by mass spectrometry. Computational methods include exploring the theoretical foundations of molecular interactions, virtual screening, molecular design, large-scale molecular simulations, structural predictions and homology modeling.