Structural Biology at the Advanced Light Source
With the completion of the sequencing of the human genome, biotechnology has developed extremely rapidly to take advantage in the explosion of information available. However, it is generally accepted that many advances can only occur when the massive volume of genomic information is complemented by advances in our understanding of the functions of genes and gene products at a molecular level. Determination of the structures of proteins and macromolecular complexes provides crucial input to aid our understanding of molecular function, and is a key component in extending this functional understanding into rational structure-based drug design. The Physical Biosciences Division's research in protein crystallography and related technologies is centered at the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology (BCSB). This program is located at the Advanced Light Source (ALS); a national user facility funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences. The ALS generates intense light for scientific and technological research and is the world's brightest source of ultraviolet and soft x-ray beams. The Berkeley Center for Structural Biology (BCSB) currently administers six protein crystallography beamlines at the ALS and is building two more. Researchers in this center support beamline operations to enable an international community of researchers to successfully collect data and therefore solve protein structures. Within the center, there are individual research programs in the areas of Wnt receptor pathway, 70S ribosome studies, eukaryotic transcription complexes and amelogenin protein studies.