Our research is focused on one of the major barriers in Structural biology: growing high quality three dimensional (3D) crystals of integral membrane proteins for structural analysis.
Obtaining such a goal requires the design of crystallization methods that complement and improve upon existing approaches. Our hypothesis relies on the assumption that promoting crystal growth of detergent solubilized membrane proteins (i.e. membrane proteins surrounded by detergent micelles) will benefit greatly once a simple, specific and controllable mechanism capable of conjugating micelles that surround the membrane protein will be introduced into the system. In such a scenario, membrane proteins could be brought into proximity and interact without the surrounding micelle affecting protein structure. Clearly, such a micellar conjugating mechanism has the potential to stabilize nucleation centers which in turn should promote crystal growth.
If you are: (i) Highly innovative. (ii) Original in your thinking! (iii) And, wish to contribute significantly to the field of Structural biology, join us.