Skip to main content.

Structural Molecular Biology

Illuminating Biological Structures at the Atomic and Molecular Levels

SMB Mission

SSRL's SMB program operates as an integrated resource and has three cores of technological research and development.

Macromolecular Crystallography

The macromolecular crystallography (MC) program is a major experimental driver for structural biology research, serving the needs of a large number of academic and biotech groups working in this area, particularly in the Western U.S. Innovations in synchrotron-based crystallography have been catalyzed by challenges in this field, in particular the growing number of "non expert" user groups and the development and application of new approaches to handle challenging classes of problems.

View details

Small Angle X-Ray Scattering

X-ray scattering from solutions or partially ordered arrays of biomolecules typically provides low-resolution (~7-10 Å or higher) structural information. Such studies can be done in solution, are relatively fast and require small quantities of material. SAXS studies are well-suited for time resolved measurements and hence can be used to address questions like conformational changes or folding intermediates under more biologically relevant conditions than available in, for example, crystals.

View details

X-Ray Spectroscopy & Imaging

Metal ions have key roles in biological structure and function - from being active sites of many enzymes to shuttling electrons in key metabolic pathways, having roles in signaling pathways and being key elements of cancer chemotherapies and disease-related biological malfunctions. Structural information on metal sites in biomolecules can be obtained from x-ray absorption edge and extended fine structure (EXAFS) experiments (collectively called XAS).

View details

Science Highlights

More highlights

News & Events