Recent technological advances for unraveling genome sequences allow scientists to map the genetic basis for life. Current and future challenges evolve around understanding the roles of distinct DNA sequences that encode for specific biological macromolecules, such as proteins and RNA, which are in charge of most of the biological processes in living organisms.
Structural Biology is a branch of life sciences that addresses these huge challenges to understand the roles of the many thousands of biological macromolecules by deciphering their distinctive three-dimensional structures. Since each macromolecule has a unique structure that dictates a distinctive biochemical activity, structural data is very insightful in studying biological functions and valuable in modulation of activities for therapeutic purposes.
X-ray Crystallography, the leading technique for high-resolution studies of biological molecules, utilizes X-rays to determine their 3D structures. To reveal detailed structural information, modern macromolecular crystallography requires intense X-ray beams, such as produced by remote synchrotron facilities. Fortunately, recent advances in the intensities of laboratory X-ray sources now permit completion of many high-resolution structural studies in-house rather than remotely.
In order to lay down the foundation of Structural Biology discipline on campus, Technion established the TCSB. The center proudly houses the most advanced in-house infrastructure for macromolecular crystallography to allow Technion investigators to perform cutting-edge structural research.