Structural Biology Interest Group

Understanding normal cellular homeostasis and the diseases that arise from dysfunction of these processes requires an understanding of how biomolecules function and interact.

Composite image showing optical tweezers, the structure of a hexameric viral capsid and the structure of Nbs1 overlaid on green nuclear speckles.

The Structural Biology Interest Group at the Francis Crick Institute comprises a wide and diverse grouping of research teams that share the common goal of describing cellular function at the atomic and mechanistic level.

The biological themes under investigation reflect the wide range of research areas covered within the Crick. These include mechanisms of cellular and immune signalling, the structural biology of epigenetic regulation, DNA repair and chromosome segregation and viral assembly and infection.

To study this diverse range of systems we employ a battery of complementary biochemical, biophysical, computational and structural techniques that include, but are not limited to, X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, cryo-electron microscopy and combined spectroscopic, thermodynamic and hydrodynamic methodologies.

Our overarching goal is to understand complex biological phenomena in terms of the molecular interactions that drive and regulate them. These efforts are underpinned by a desire to open up new approaches to combat disease and many of the groups are actively involved in efforts to translate structural biology research into new medicines and treatments that will impact on global health.

For more information, or to be added to the Interest Group mailing list, please contact Aileen Nelson (

Upcoming seminars:


  • 22 June, 14:00 - Gabriel Lander, The Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, USA, 'Examining molecular features large and small with cryo-EM'
  • 18 July, 12:00 - Philipp Selenko, Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP), 'Looking at proteins in live cells with atomic resolution: From Science Fiction to Science Reality'
  • 26 September, 12:00 - Sheena Radford, University of Leeds, 'TBC'
  • 24 October, 12:00 - Yvonne Jones, University of Oxford, 'TBC'
  • 28 November, 12:00 - Titia Sixma, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, 'TBC'
  • 5 December, 12:00 -  Peijun Zhang, University of Oxford, 'TBC'