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VCU Massey Cancer Center


Structural Biology Shared Resource


The Structural Biology Shared Resource is a combination of resources critical to the determination and utilization of structural information in addressing cancer research problems. With the sequencing of major mammalian genomes, the frontier of biology has shifted from sequence to function and to the functional genomics closely related to structural genomics initiatives. Computational technology developments in both hardware and software allow the information intrinsic to a three-dimensional structure (e.g., the size, shape, electrostatic charge distribution, hydrophobic/hydrophilic characteristics of ligand binding sites on macromolecules) to be used for design of pharmaceutic agents.

Computational methods, termed molecular modeling or computational chemistry, are recognized as extremely powerful tools for predicting molecular architecture on the basis of sequence information. Interpretation of the consequences of mutagenesis is enhanced by orders of magnitude if structural information at atomic resolution is available.

The Structural Biology Shared Resource offers instrumentation, computer hardware and software, support personnel for the determination of molecular structures, and the utilization of structural information in cancer research. The shared resource encompasses three related components: X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance, and molecular modeling. The Structural Biology Shared Resource also collaborates closely with the Biological Macromolecule Shared Resource, which can undertake the production and purification of proteins required for structural analysis.

Who we are

If you are contemplating inclusion of structural determination or structural modeling in an upcoming project or grant application, please contact the faculty director, Dr. Martin Safo.


All publications that include results, services or products generated by the VCU Massey Cancer Center Shared Resources must include the following acknowledgement in the manuscript:

"Services in support of the research project were provided by the VCU Massey Cancer Center Structural Biology Shared Resource, supported, in part, with funding from NIH-NCI Cancer Center Support Grant P30 CA016059."

PubMed Central (PMC) ID numbers are required for those publications that use CCSG-supported shared resources. All of Massey Cancer Center's shared resources are supported by the CCSG.