Structural Biology, Protein Engineering and Design, and Proteomics

We use structural biology and proteomics to solve structures of key molecular players that drive cancer, and to map their interactions with other cellular partners, as well as the small molecules and degraders. We also use protein engineering and design to develop novel proteins that could serve as sensors, molecular biology tools, and, potentially, new biologics.

We use this information to frame and assist small molecule development and design, and employ proteomic analysis as a window into selectivity and specificity of the small molecule inhibitors and degraders. The Chemical Biology Program includes the Structural Biology Core and the NMR Spectroscopy Core, which support the entire Institute. We also have a close relationship with Dana-Farber's Blais Proteomics Center.

Our structural biology and proteomics faculty has extensive expertise in mass spectrometry (MS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, and electron microscopy (EM):

  • The Arthanari Lab is investigating protein-protein interactions (PPIs) involved in transcription and translation.
  • The Eck Lab is studying molecular interactions that govern cytoplasmic signal transduction.
  • The Fischer Lab is advancing degrader technology, chemistry, and biology.
  • The Marto Lab is developing new MS strategies to establish specificity and selectivity profiles of small molecule probes and inhibitors.
  • The Polizzi Lab uses de novo protein design to better understand principles of protein-ligand interactions and design novel protein-based tools.
  • The Structural Biology Core and the NMR Spectroscopy Core are providing structure-based drug discovery expertise to the program and Dana-Farber.
  • The Zhou Lab repurposes natural and synthetic molecular recognition events for sensing and re-directing cell signaling responses.