Phagocytosis of yeast (magenta) by a macrophage, together with actin staining (green).

Signal Transduction

Signal transduction pathways regulate diverse processes in cell division, development, and differentiation.


Membranes and Transport Mechanisms

Biological membranes are complex and dynamic ensembles of lipids and proteins, which define the limits of cells and organelles and carry out a variety of specialized functions.


Regulation of Gene Expression

The proper functioning of a cell and its ultimate developmental fate is determined by specific patterns of gene expression.


Cell Biology

Cell Biology is the study of the structure and function of cells, fundamental units of life that become organized into tissues and organisms.

ATPase structure_sm

Protein Structure and Dynamics

The three-dimensional structures of biological molecules, their interactions and molecular motion provide the fundamental basis for understanding how they mediate their functions.

Many drugs (bottom) are produced by environmental bacteria however the pathways that generate these molecules tend to be dormant in the laboratory. By screening for chemicals that induce these pathways (note the blue pigment production activated by compound 1 (top) investigators are seeking new drugs for diseases ranging from antibiotic resistant infections to currently untreatable cancers.

Molecular Medicine and Drug Discovery

Biochemistry is the central discipline in the discovery of new medicines.

Networks in protein sequence space, based on a biophysical model that has been applied extensively in the study of protein evolution. The image here shows a supernet of sequences (background) that is made up of interconnecting neutral nets (top). Neutral nets are often superfunnels, or basins of attraction in evolution (middle). The bottom drawing shows a real-life example conformational switches between two superfunnels. Image created by Tobias Sikosek and Hue Sun Chan.

Computational Biology

Biochemical research programs are becoming increasingly reliant on adopting computer-based approaches for the integration and visualization of so-called “big data”.


The study of prokaryotes and phage has implication for human disease and the development of new technologies.