This group includes scientists who apply cutting-edge structural and cell biology techniques to study fundamental cellular processes in normal and diseased conditions, and in microbial pathogens. These studies provide molecular detail of interactions between cellular components involved in cell division, locomotion, muscle contraction, gene expression, host-pathogen interaction, and cancer. The goals are to not only understand how disease develops, but also to identify novel drug targets and mechanisms of drug resistance. Techniques include, x-ray crystallography, NMR, high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy, laser-based cellular dissection combined with light-microscopy, and computational biology, in addition to common biochemistry and molecular biology approaches.

Associated Researchers

Rajendra K. Agrawal, Ph.D.

Rajendra K. Agrawal, Ph.D.

Director, Division of Translational Medicine, Wadsworth Center

We study mechanisms of protein biosynthesis in bacterial and eukaryotic cells, with a goal to understand bacterial drug resistance and identify new drug targets, using biochemical and high-resolution 3D cryo-EM techniques.

Nilesh Banavali, Ph.D.

Structure-based Therapeutics for Infectious Diseases

We use NextGen sequencing to determine frequencies and sequence dependence of polymerase errors, and computational methods for drug design, structure prediction, and elucidating chemical and conformational mechanisms.

Ye Ding, Ph.D.

RNA Bioinformatics

We are engaged in algorithms and software tool development for the prediction of RNA secondary structure and their applications to understand mechanisms of regulatory non-coding RNAs, with a recent focus on microRNAs and small bacterial RNAs.

Alexey Khodjakov, Ph.D.

Cellular and Molecular Basis of Diseases - Mitosis

We seek to reveal the molecular mechanisms that enact error-free segregation of chromosomes during cell division. Advanced microscopy and laser ablations allow us to probe the behavior of individual chromosomes and spindle poles.
Janice D. Pata, Ph.D.

Janice D. Pata, Ph.D.

Polymerases, Mutations, and the Evolution of Antimicrobial Drug Resistance

We study the molecular mechanisms by which multiple DNA polymerases replicate bacterial genomes completely, with high accuracy and tolerance for DNA damage, yet also create mutations that give rise to antibiotic resistance.

Haixin Sui, Ph.D.

Cellular and Molecular Basis of Diseases - Structural Cell Biology

We study the structural basis of macromolecular assemblies and organelles in epithelial cells for sensing or responding to extracellular environmental changes. Our approach involves a variety of customized methods in advanced electron microscopy.