Scientists in SKI’s Structural Biology Program aim to understand biological processes at the levels of molecular mechanisms and three-dimensional structures. The experimental tools we employ range from cryo-electron microscopy and x-ray crystallography to super-resolution optical methods in studies that are complemented by biochemical, cell biology, and genetic approaches. We are focused on fundamental processes in biology with particular interests in understanding how these processes are dysregulated in cancer.

The work of our researchers covers diverse areas of biology including DNA-damage response, epigenetic modification of DNA and histones, RNA silencing, RNA processing, DNA and RNA structure, riboswitches, transcription, and growth-regulatory pathways. In addition, we investigate cell-surface receptors, vesicular transport and secretion, post-translational protein modification by ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins, and membrane protein structure and function.

Nikola Pavletich, Chair of the Structural Biology Program

Nikola Pavletich (left) with graduate student Buren Li


Our Faculty

  • Christopher D. Lima, PhD
    Chair, Structural Biology Program
    The Lima laboratory studies mechanisms underlying RNA processing as well as post-translational protein modification by ubiquitin-like proteins.
  • Jonathan Goldberg, PhD
    The Goldberg laboratory focuses on structural and biochemical characterization of intracellular vesicle transport.
  • Richard Hite, PhD
    The Hite laboratory studies the mechanisms of intracellular ion transport.
  • Stephen B. Long, PhD
    The Long laboratory studies ion channels and enzymatic membrane proteins.
  • Dimitar B. Nikolov, PhD
    The Nikolov laboratory focuses on the structural, biophysical, and biochemical characterization of the molecular mechanisms of cell-cell interactions and signal transduction in the nervous system.
  • Dinshaw Patel, PhD
    The Patel laboratory studies the structural biology of macromolecular recognition, including RNA catalysis, RNA interference, and bypass of DNA damage.
  • Nikola P. Pavletich, PhD
    The Pavletich laboratory studies the structural biology of oncogenes and tumor suppressors.
  • Alexandros Pertsinidis, PhD
    The Pertsinidis laboratory uses single-molecule approaches to understand gene transcription and the function of complex macromolecular machines inside live cells.

Collaborations & Resources

SKI offers a wide array of core facilities and other technologies, including a FEI Titan Krios cryo-electron microscope. Members of the Structural Biology Program derive particular benefit from close ties to the following:

Join Our Program
We seek out innovative new scientists to join our faculty on an annual basis. Recruitment begins in the fall. Postdocs and other prospective lab members can learn more by browsing the lab pages of individual PIs or by visiting our Careers website.
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