Scientific Impact

The goal of understanding biological structure and function and applying this knowledge to address a wide range of problems of broad societal importance has evolved into a large, worldwide multidisciplinary effort.  It engages academic, national laboratory and corporate researchers whose goals range from innovative, discovery-based science through applied uses like the acceleration of drug discovery.  Knowledge in this field has relevance to solving grand challenge problems related to medicine, energy, and the environment.  The macromolecular crystallography group supports and develops X-ray crystallography facilities that yeild 3-dimensional structures of maromolecules on the atomic scale. These macromolecular structures provide critical insight into the function of the biological processes that are relevant to human health and bioremediation.  Roger Kornberg's 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was an example where access to the cutting-edge MC beamlines led to a number of seminal stuctures that in turn helped uncover the details of the trascription of our genetic code and how the process can go awry leading to disease and serious medical conditions.