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Structural Biology Brussels

Research group

Main organisation:Research Council
Lifecycle:1 Nov 2008 →  Today
Organisation profile:

Structural biology is a central discipline in molecular life sciences, and our Center for Structural Biology (CSB) has been a cornerstone of the research conducted at the VUB and the VIB, first under the leadership of Lode Wyns, and more recently under the guidance of Jan Steyaert and Han Remaut. The Center has made several top-tier discoveries, of which Nanobody technology has been running like a tread through the history of CSB. The centre has always been a strong driver of the tech transfer activities of VIB with the success story of the spinout companies Ablynx and ConfoTherapeutics as pinnacle.

Our mission is to study the structure and dynamics of macromolecular complexes to explain their mode of action in health and disease. We integrate our method development, structural biology and biochemical work with genetic and cellular studies, aiming to bridge molecular and cellular resolution. Translating our discoveries into biotechnological and medical applications is part of our DNA.

Thematically, CSB encourages interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research programs, following a bottom up approach based on the initiative of the group leaders. The diversity of groups and research topics within CSB ensures in-house expertise across most structural biology techniques (X-ray crystallography, EM, SAXS, NMR, cryo-EM), complemented by a broad range of biophysical techniques. This enables us to address structural biology projects in an integrated fashion and to challenge our insights in their cellular and in vivo context. This interdisciplinary and integrative approach gives us enormous leverage to produce excellent educational opportunities, carry out grand challenge science, and stimulate research-based economic development.

Keywords:X-ray crystallography, Protein Chemistry, Molecular Microbiology, Structural Biology, NMR, Enzyme kinetics, Antibody Engineering
Disciplines:Social medical sciences, Systems biology, Biochemistry and metabolism, Macromolecular and materials chemistry, Other (bio)chemical engineering, Molecular and cell biology, Environmental engineering and biotechnology