About the Institute
The University of Leicester has a long history of using structural biology to answer challenging questions in biology and accelerate drug discovery. We do so using different techniques, each able to address different questions and generate 3D structures of biomolecules in detail. The latest such technique is our state-of-the-art Cryo-EM facility, which complements our outstanding NMR and crystallography capabilities.
State-of-the-art single molecule microscopes are being developed within the Institute for Structural and Chemical Biology, to investigate complex and dynamic biological processes. These approaches complement the structural biology and allow us to address questions that are beyond the reach of other methods, including the nature of the dynamic processes through which large biological complexes are assembled.
Our researchers in chemistry and biology are increasingly working together to improve our understanding of the workings of life. Our researchers use chemistry to develop probes and tools to explore biological systems – providing a ‘chemical view’ of human biology. By exploiting this chemistry, we are able to manipulate macromolecular function and activity. This is important for both drug development and the development of research tools. Examples are exploring the biological role of formaldehyde, a natural but little-studied product of several important biological reactions in cells, along with exploring the therapeutic role of chemicals that stabilise protective protein-protein interactions.
The Institute for Structural and Chemical Biology includes experts engaged in work that could ultimately lead to new medical treatments, securing support from pharmaceutical companies and other funders. GlaxoSmithKline has awarded funding to researchers developing molecules targeting lymphocytic leukaemia.