The dynamics, structure and function of proteins

Proteins are not just something that we eat – they control people as well as animal and plant life to the smallest detail. Researchers in the environment seek knowledge about the construction of life through studying how proteins look, function and interact with other building blocks. Their research is also important in the understanding of different diseases.

A number of research groups are working in biophysics with various cutting-edge methods to examine a variety of issues.The research groups are working with a number of different issues. How can long chains of amino acids fold themselves together into a functioning protein? What happens if the protein loses its shape or is misfolded? How do bacteria cause disease with the help of specialized proteins? How can small molecules affect the protein’s function? The knowledge provides researchers with the possibility to learn more about the causes of difference types of disease. It increases the possibilities of creating new medicines.

Fundamental life processes

Other research groups within the environment focus on plants and proteins in photosynthesis. Their long-term hope is to find a solution to energy problems of the future with the help of artificial photosynthesis. There is also a large group of researchers that study fundamental life processes. It could, for example, involve copying the cell’s DNA, manufacture of RNA, and the cell’s metabolism. All of these processes occur with the help of proteins.

Stimulating collaboration

The researchers work closely with one another in a common building, the Chemical Biological Centre (KBC- Kemiskt Biologiskt Centrum) which leads to a stimulating collaboration and exchange of methods and scientific knowledge. In KBC there are a variety of advanced instruments which help researchers to study proteins all the way down to the atomic level.

Articles and press releases

Articles and press releases from last year about proteins.
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The Chemical Biological Centre (KBC) - a multidisciplinary research centre from Umeå University on Vimeo.

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In 2010 Umeå University designated 14 strong research environments of high international quality, which was given special support during the period 2011–2015. This initiative will be evaluated shortly.

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