|Our research field is Structural Biology as you can easily imagine by the name of our laboratory.
Our aim is to determine the three-dimensional structures of macromolecules, including proteins, and their complexes at an atomic level, and to understand the biological functions.
Various molecules in organism function with some shape and are recognized each other, interactions based on the three-dimensional structure governs the recognition, where some intrinsically disordered proteins that do not have structure have been found recently, however, it is believed a certain structure will be induced in the recognition.
Structural Biology makes it possible to create a picture of the shape and interaction from the physicochemistrical view point.
What is the raison dfetre of Structural Biology?
We believe that it is visualization of the molecules which have complicated functions, so that many people can realize them. You must know the most outstanding example: Double helix model by Watson-Crick. We believe that the understanding by three-dimensional image is essential to our research.
We use X-ray crystallography as a tool for our research.
X-ray crystallography is highly useful, but it isnft effective in some
cases. So, we are approaching by small angle X-ray scattering method as
well. Though it is low resolution, it can be measured in solution. Moreover
we also try to make use of single particle electron cryo-microscopy.
We have been making efforts so as to understand the function, nature, and structure of molecules by making not only biochemical but also other physicochemical experiments such as CD spectroscopy, Surface Plasmon Resonance, ultracentrifugation and so on.
We are currently and will continue to make efforts to accomplish our research
aiming for the application to drug design.