Fostering the development of an integrated research network
Structural biology brings together the interrelated disciplines of molecular biology, biochemistry, and biophysics. The molecular structure of biological macromolecules, proteins, and nucleic acids at atomic resolution have helped to revolutionize modern biology. Characterizing biological structures and alterations in their structures is crucial for understanding the functions of biological macromolecules, including interactions with small ligands (such as substrates, inhibitors, drugs) and other macromolecules (nucleic acids and/or proteins). Therefore, structural biology is a pillar of basic biomedical research, indispensable for characterizing the details of biological processes and for characterizing the differences between natural and diseased states.
Integrated research collaborations. Successful grant applications rely on well established collaborative efforts. The SBR provides a researcher with the choice of collaborative efforts or the tools need for a PI to drive a structural biology component of a project by themself.
Increasing research quality. The SBR complements biochemistry and cell biology research. High-resolution structures at the atomic level provides a level of detail that is useful for rationalizing biochemical behaviors crucial to the systems being studied.
Acquiring new expertise. SBR provides an educational element as well. Training of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and collaborating investigators in small workshops/training session is a core aspect of the SBR. The SBR also provides detailed protocols for complex structural biology experiments, allowing a collaborative prinicpal investigator to make structural biology an integral component of their research proposal.