Structural and Computational Biology and Biophysics
The Structural and Computational Biology and Biophysics Research Area comprises faculty with interests at the molecular level (that is, at the cellular level and below). Research includes topics such as:
- determination of protein and nucleic acid structures
- the structure and mechanism of protein and RNA enzymes (including proteins involved in cancer)
- membrane biochemistry and the structure of membrane proteins
- structures of macromolecular complexes
- study of the structure and mechanism of viruses (including emerging pathogens such as West Nile and Dengue viruses)
- experimental and computational investigation of macromolecular interactions
- regulation of gene expression by epigenetic mechanisms such as chromosomal and nucleosomal structure
- the structure and function of plant cell walls and cytoskeleton
- response of cells to high salinity stress
- genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, systematics, and computational systems biology and other topics at the interface of experiment and computation
This group uses a wide variety of experimental approaches ranging from X-ray crystallography, NMR, Cryo-electron microscopy, electron tomography, and advanced spectroscopic techniques for examining and determining molecular structures, to computational techniques as they apply to nucleic acid and protein structures, bioinformatics, genomics and systems biology including molecular dynamics, machine learning, and network analysis.
Graduate students in this area necessarily come from diverse backgrounds, since few undergraduate programs provide broad training opportunities in areas such as structural or computational biology.
We provide training to students with undergraduate backgrounds ranging from biology and molecular biology to chemistry, physics, and computer science, and encourage applications from students with backgrounds outside of traditional biology programs.
Faculty and students in the group participate in a large number of interdisciplinary activities and shared resources including the Purdue Cryo-EM Facility, Purdue Center for Cancer Research, Center for Basic and Applied Membrane Sciences, Energy Center, the Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology, and Infectious Disease (PI4D), the Bindley Bioscience Center, and the Markey Center for Structural Biology.
Major extramural funding for research is provided by the NIH, the NSF, the USDA and numerous private foundations.
Structural, Biophysical and Computational Biology News
- Human antibody for Zika virus promising for treatment, prevention
- Professor succeeds in protein modeling competitions using Purdue’s community clusters
- How reliable are protein structures determined by electron microscopy?
- High-throughput discovery of ligand binding proteins in a proteome
- New findings detail structure of immature Zika virus
- Purdue professors elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science