Structural Biology
from the department chair

William Weis, PhD
Chair, Structural Biology
Welcome to the Department of Structural Biology! Our department, founded in the 1970’s as the first of its kind in the United States, is a world leader in the molecular and structural understanding of biology. The discipline sits at the interface of physics, chemistry, and biology. Research in the department spans a wide range of biological problems at the molecular, cellular, tissue, and whole animal scales, and includes the molecular basis of transcription and translation, cellular signaling, development of multicellular tissues, viral structural biology, immunology, and computational biology.

Many of these studies involve the development and application of advanced methodologies, including x-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, NMR, single molecule spectroscopy, tomographic imaging, and computer science. We have outstanding expertise and infrastructure in these areas, including close ties to the SLAC National Laboratory, which houses advanced x-ray sources including the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource and the Linear Coherent Light Source, the world’s first hard x-ray laser.

Information about graduate studies in the department is available through the Biosciences web site.

Benefits of our ancestors
Peter Parham
The work of Prof. Peter Parham and his collaborators is featured in the Aug. 25th, 2011 edition of Science, showing that mating between early humans and our prehistoric ancestors resulted in important benefits to our modern immune system.

Our congratulations to Prof. Parham and his team on their achievement.

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