Activities at EMBL Hamburg focus on state-of-the-art structural biology methods using synchrotron radiation, combining cutting-edge technology with an ambitious research programme for structures of multifunctional proteins and protein complexes of biomedical relevance.
EMBL Hamburg has set up an ambitious research programme for structures of multifunctional proteins and protein complexes of biomedical relevance. Present research interests of group leaders include cell surface receptors, protein assemblies in muscle cells, protein kinases, protein translocation into peroxisomes, and several projects relating to tuberculosis. Common to all projects is the goal to make optimum use of on-site high-brilliance synchrotron radiation and to explore novel opportunities of the X-ray Free Electron Laser. Beyond the tools in structural biology that are available on-site, EMBL Hamburg groups are engaged in many interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues from other EMBL units, enabling access to a large variety of in vitro and in vivo functional techniques, including cellular imaging techniques.
EMBL Hamburg also has a well-established record for the development of novel, innovative technologies in structural biology. Leading software packages for the automation of data interpretation have been developed here and are used in a large number of projects across the world’s research community. One example is the ARP/wARP package that allows automatic X-ray structure determination. Another package, ATSAS, allows the automatic interpretation of small angle X-ray scattering data for structural shape determination. Finally, there are two groups that focus on the development and construction of new equipment for experimental stations in structural biology, using synchrotron radiation. Present efforts focus on the installation of new robotics that allow automatic placement of biological samples into specialised synchrotron experiment facilities.
Scientists in this unit use integrated structural and computational techniques to study biology at scales from molecular structures to organismal communities.
At its sites in Hamburg
and Grenoble, EMBL provides its researchers and hundreds of external users each year with access to world-leading sources of X-ray and neutron radiation, enabling them to study the structures of biological molecules.