We seek to understand molecular mechanisms of certain key biological processes, as well as signal transduction between processes at the level of protein structure, dynamics, and mechanism. Molecular cloning, expression, site-directed mutagenesis, and strong focus onto biochemistry are a key part of the arsenal for defining molecular mechanisms. We focus on the questions of how signals cross membranes, and how membrane proteins, and membrane channels work at the level of atomic structure. We also focus on how the signal recognition particle (SRP) directs membrane and secreted proteins to the membrane.


Molecular structures are defined primarily by x-ray crystallography

Design of drug molecules of specified properties is the quintessential test of our understanding of the relationship between molecular structure and affinity. Here methods are being developed to quantitate the relationship between affinity, and structure concerning molecular interactions. Several strategically important clinical targets are foci. These currently include HIV integrase and second generation drug design to combat resistance in HIV protease. Species-specific inhibitors of thymidylate synthase are designed as anti-pathogenic drugs. Neuroreceptors and hormone receptor systems are being defined at the cellular and molecular structure levels to understand the fundamental mechanisms of cell to cell signaling.