Areas of Research
Principal Investigators in this Research Area:
Correct discrimination of "self" vs "non-self" nucleic acids by the innate immune system is essential for host defense… More
Our research focuses on the processes that mediate and regulate the movement of membrane proteins throughout cells. In… More
Adhesion molecules on lymphocytes and leukocytes regulate cell interactions in development, antigen recognition, homing, and inflammation. The Springer… More
We are interested in understanding the physical basis of how biological systems work at the nanoscale, with a… More
The Wu laboratory of structural immunology focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanism of signal transduction by immune receptors,… More
In basic research in human health and disease, structural biology has a key and central role. Beautiful pictures of the structures of proteins, DNA, and RNA appear frequently on the covers and in the pages of the most prestigious scientific journals. Why?
Most biomedical research depends on understanding how organisms work at the molecular level. Each of the 30,000 proteins in the human body has a unique sequence of amino acids and three-dimensional structure. Discovering these structures enables a precise understanding of how mutations cause inherited disease, viruses enter and infect cells, bacteria produce toxins and become resistant to antibiotics, cancer cells grow and metastasize, drugs bind to and inhibit receptors and enzymes, the immune system recognizes foreignness, nerves sense and transmit information, and amyloid plaques form in Alzheimer’s disease. Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, the structure of a biomolecule conveys a huge amount of information about how it does its job in the body. Scientific papers reporting structures have a long-lasting impact, because the structure; i.e. the blue-print showing the location of all the atoms of which the molecule is built, is deposited in a database that all scientists can access. This permanent record of the molecule can be used to determine how it works in health, is damaged by mutations, is attacked by infectious organisms, and can be targeted by drugs.
Related News and Announcements
Our immune system has immense powers of observation. It needs to in order to fend off the millions of bacteria, viruses, fungi, you… Read Full Article »
A new drug blocks blood clots in heart disease and stroke in a way that may minimize harmful side effects,… Read Full Article »
The Immune Disease Institute (IDI) would like to welcome Dr. Hao Wu who is planning to join IDI, the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and the Department of Medicine at Children's Hospital in July of 2012. … Read Full Article »
Sun Hur named 2010 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences to study the “Mechanism of self vs. non-self RNA discrimination by RIG-I”.
Text adapted from The Pew Charitable Trusts press release
The Pew Charitable Trusts today (June 17, 2010) named Sun Hur, Ph.D., as a 2010 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences. The program enables scientists to take… Read Full Article »