DCMB faculty employ and develop experimental and informatics approaches to understand the structure, function, and interaction of proteins, which are the building blocks of biological systems, the molecular motors, switches, catalysts and transporters. We also investigate implications for human diseases when normal protein functions go awry.
Building on traditional studies of protein structure and function, DCMB faculty use bioinformatics and proteomics approaches to predict protein structure from amino acid sequences, and predict protein function from structure (Andrews, Grant, Zhang). They also use experimental approaches to measure, and use simulations and mathematical modeling to predict, protein interactions in regulatory networks (Freddolino, Grant). Applying our understanding of protein structure and function to clinical research, they use informatics tools, simulation and modeling to facilitate drug discovery and design (Grant); and use proteomics and informatics tools to analyze post-translation modification (Andrews) and study the role of differential expression of alternative splice isoforms of proteins and transcripts in cancer-related pathways (Omenn). Our faculty members also develop computational methods to process and extract biological information from complex proteomic datasets (Nesvizhskii).