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Structural Biology Research Unit accreditation - March 2012

The Structural Biology Research Unit in the Division of Medical Biochemistry, Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences has been successfully accredited by the URC.

What is Structural Biology (SB)?
SB is a key discipline in 21st century biology and medicine. Insights obtained through structural studies have defined, and continue to define, our understanding of biological systems and have profound implications for interventions in the health arena (and other industries). SB is concerned with gaining insight into the workings of biological systems through the determination of the three dimensional structures of biological objects ranging from cells to macromolecules.

Hence, the establishment of a SB Research Unit will contribute both to our fundamental understanding of biology and disease as well as to drug discovery through determination of biological structure at a variety of different scales.

What is Purpose of the Unit?

  1. To establish an identifiable home for promotion of research and human capacity development in structural biology at UCT.
  2. To raise funds explicitly to enable structural work to be done at UCT.
  3. To create an enabling environment for the education of postgraduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the field of SB
  4. To develop the discipline by engaging in multi scale structural research on biological objects ranging from molecules to cells (i.e. through training people and conducting research).
  5. To create a mutually supportive and synergistic environment for the development of the discipline of SB.

What is the nature of the SB Research Unit?

The Unit will be a grant funded entity, operationally located in the Division of Medical Biochemistry, Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at UCT Medical School, under Directorship of Prof Trevor Sewell. Currently most structural work is undertaken in labs in the Electron Microscope Unit, Molecular and Cell Biology (on UCT upper campus), the Sturrock lab in Medial Biochemistry at Medical School, and in the Structural Biology Division at UWC.