Structural Biology

From the Department Chair

I would like to extend a warm welcome to all visitors and candidates for admission to the Department of Structural Biology. Our department was jointly founded over 35 years ago by Roger Kornberg and Lubert Stryer as the first of its kind in the United States, soon establishing itself as a world leader in the study of the molecular and structural basis of biology. The discipline sits at the interface between physics, chemistry, and biology, as it attempts to explain both function and disease.

The department is consistently ranked first among the nation's Structural Biology graduate programs. Our faculty consists of one Nobel Laureate, three members of the National Academy of Sciences and three members of the Royal Society. Our research spans a broad swath of modern biology, including the molecular basis of transcription and translation, cell signaling, membrane protein structure and function, viral structural biology, the nature of host-pathogen interaction, nucleic acid biophysics, computational biology and immunology. Graduate students are trained through multiple home programs at Stanford beyond Structural Biology, including Biophysics, Chemistry, Applied Physics and Immunology; this reflects the deep and diverse impact of Structural Biology on broader biomedical research.

The department harnesses an outstanding infrastructure, including x-ray diffractometers, the beam lines at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL), NMR spectrometers, electron microscopes and computer clusters. We maintain broad collaborative interactions with a number of departments across Stanford University, including Chemistry, Physics, Bioengineering, Microbiology and Immunology, Developmental Biology, and Molecular & Cellular Physiology, to name just a few. Please feel free to contact me or my colleagues to further discuss our work.

Joseph D. (Jody) Puglisi

Transformative Research Project

Department Chair Jody Puglisi has been named a recipient of the NIH Transformative Research Project award. Prof. Puglisi, along with his colleagues Prof. Peter Sarnow of Microbiology & Immunology and Asst. Prof. Elisabetta Viani Puglisi of Structural Biology, "will use the award to explore a novel method for studying a crucial process constantly under way in cells and known as translation: the synthesis of proteins in cells by ribosomes."

Our congratulations to Prof. Puglisi and his colleagues on their achievement as we wish them continued success with this exciting new pursuit.

Jody Puglisi

Department Chair

2011 Annual Retreat

Dec. 12 | 8:00AM - 7:00 PM

Benefits of Our Ancestors

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.