Structural Biology

To understand how the human body works, it’s vital to understand the individual components that work together to sustain life. That’s what scientists in the Institute’s Structural Biology Program seek to do by revealing the molecular architecture of life’s most basic building blocks, notably the vast array of proteins that carry out virtually every biological function.

To do this, they use an array of cutting-edge and gold-standard techniques such as X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), which allows them to discern the structures of these important molecules in stunning detail. Their work is crucial for understanding the processes that underlie every aspect of health, and for improving therapies for diseases such as asthma, cancers, diabetes, neurological conditions and infectious diseases.


Recent Publications

Bai L, You Q, Feng X, Kovach A, Li H. 2020. Structure of the ER membrane complex, a transmembrane-domain insertase. Nature.

Ruan Z, Orozco IJ, Du J#, Lü W#. 2020. Structures of human Pannexin 1 reveal ion pathways and mechanism of gating. Nature.

Huang Y, Fliegert R, Guse AH, Lü W#, Du J#. 2019. A structural overview of the ion channels of the TRPM family. Cell Calcium.
# co-corresponding author

Choi W#, Clemente N#, Sun W, Du J*, Lü W*. 2019. The structures and gating mechanism of human calcium homeostasis modulator 2. Nature.
#Equal contributions
*Co-corresponding authors

Bai L, Kovach A, You Q, Kenny A, Li H. 2019. Structure of the eukaryotic protein O-mannosyltransferase Pmt1−Pmt2 complexNat Struct Mol Biol.

Bai L, Li H. 2019. Cryo-EM is uncovering the mechanism of eukaryotic protein N-glycosylation. FEBS 286(9):1638–1644.

Zhao LH*, Ma S*, Sutkeviciute I*, Shen DD*, Zhou XE, de Waal PW, Li CH, Kang Y, Clark LJ, Jean-Alphonse FG, White AD, Yang D, Dai A, Cai X, Chen J, Li C, Jiang Y, Watanbe T, Gradella TJ, Melcher K, Wang MW#, Vilardaga JP#, Xu HE#, Zhang Y#. 2019. Structure and dynamics of the active human parathyroid hormone receptor-1. Science
* Equal contributions 
# Co-corresponding authors