ABOUT THE STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY UNIT
The Structural Biology Unit (SBU), created in 1998, is one of the leading research poles in the field of macromolecular X-ray crystallography in Spain. It consists of eight research groups, featuring over 60 researchers, all involved in cutting-edge projects of medical, biological or biotechnological relevance.
The SBU aims to understand the cell machinery and physiological processes from a structural and functional perspective. The study of proteins, nucleic acids and their interactions to elucidate the molecular basis of physiological processes and pathology is the principal interest of SBU researchers. Research lines are focused on the regulation of nucleic acid replication and transcription, structure-function analysis of proteases and host-microbiome interactions, the study of different pathogens -including viruses-, and organelles like peroxisomes and mitochondria. A separate but highly complementary line of research is centered on the development of computational methods for X-ray crystallography.
In 2015, the SBU was appointed “María de Maeztu” Unit of Excellence by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO), which recognizes exceptional quality in terms of research, training, human resources, outreach and technology transfer.
In October 2017, the Severo Ochoa and María de Maeztu alliance (SOMMa) was created. The SBU participates at all the meetings and actions impulsed by this initiative to strengthen the R+D+i system and to have a voice on Spanish and European science politics.
FACILITIES & SERVICES
THE SBU, PART OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY INSTITUTE OF BARCELONA
The SBU is part of the Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona (IBMB), a strategic research center from the Spanish Research Council (CSIC).
The IBMB aims to foster high quality research in the fields of molecular biology and biomedicine, contributing both at the academic and technology transfer levels as well. The institute is also committed to train ongoing researchers and future specialists in distinct areas of biological sciences. For this purpose, the institute is designed as an integrated research facility with four research programs, spanning from structural biology to the molecular mechanisms of cellular and developmental biology.
THE SBU WITHIN BARCELONA SCIENCE PARK
The SBU is located at Barcelona Science Park (PCB), which provides an excellent scientific and technological framework. PCB belongs to the Barcelona Knowledge Campus (BKC), a campus of international excellence that includes the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), which also keeps our unit and the entire IBMB in close connection with the academic world.
THE SBU NEAR TO ALBA SYNCHROTRON
One of the two only synchrotron facilities of Southern Europe, Synchrotron ALBA, is located in the outskirts of Barcelona and provides a unique nearby infrastructure with direct and frequent access. In addition, the SBU has been closely involved in the development of specific infrastructure devoted to macromolecular X-ray crystallography at ALBA.