The two institutions participating in the Biochemistry and Structural Biology Program—Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory—each have world-class facilities for modern biochemical and structural research.
Center for Structural Biology
The Center for Structural Biology (CSB) at Stony Brook anchors much of the research in structural biology undertaken in the BSB program. The CSB is housed on the first and ground floors of the Centers for Molecular Medicine. The research activities of the CSB revolve around three major biophysical approaches for studying the structure and dynamics of complex biological macromolecules: NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, and electron cryo-microscopy. The Keck NMR Center for Structural Biology houses four NMR spectrometers: standard bore 700 MHz and 850 MHz spectrometers for solution NMR studies and wide bore 500 MHz and 600 MHz spectrometers for solid-state NMR studies. The X-ray facility has the latest robots and imaging equipment for preparing crystals of macromolecules. Stony Brook students use the macromolecule beam lines at NSLS-II, a recently completed synchrotron light source at Brookhaven National Laboratory. For cryo-EM, the CSB has an in-house 200 kEV Talos Artica microscope equipped with auto-changer.
The Louis and Beatrice Laufer Center is a hub for research in Physical and Quantitative Biology at Stony Brook University. We aim to advance biology and medicine through discoveries in physics, mathematics and computational science.
Our research is diverse. Laufer Center researchers insert gene circuits into cells and study noise. We insert barcodes to study evolution, cell-by-cell. Some of us use computational modeling to understand how proteins fold and how proteins bind to proteins and design drugs for high-affinity binding to proteins. We explore how protein motions cause biological mechanisms and how proteins aggregate in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. And, some of us use computers to design vaccines.
Laufer Center researchers come from a broad community including Stony Brook departments of chemistry, physics, applied mathematics and statistics, computer science, molecular genetics and microbiology as well as Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
ICB&DD complements Stony Brook’s Centers for Molecular Medicine (CMM) and significantly contribute to the establishment of a truly comprehensive biomedical research enterprise from molecular science to clinic at Stony Brook. Fundamental biological research often fails to include drug discovery, which is one of the most important and beneficial scientific contributions to mankind.
The primary objective of ICB&DD is to establish a world-class “ Center of Excellence ” in chemical biology and drug discovery at Stony Brook University. The rapid and impressive advancements in chemical biology during the last decade have clearly demonstrated that solutions for a vast majority of medical problems rely on the understanding of the molecular basis of diseases, therapeutic targets, drug actions, and drug resistance. ICB&DD promotes highly productive interdisciplinary and collaborative research among chemists, biologists, medicinal chemists, pharmacologists, and physicians to attack major biomedical problems to find solutions including the discovery of novel therapeutic drugs.
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) has world-class facilities for structural biology that are available to students in the BSB Program. The National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS-II) at BNL is one of the newest and most advanced facilities for structural biology in the world. This facility recently came on line and produces X-rays that are more than 10,000 times brighter than the original NSLS. Other facilities include a Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM) in the Department of Biology. For high-level computational applications, Stony Brook University has access to a IBM Blue Gene/L massively parallel supercomputer located at BNL. It is the centerpiece of the New York Center for Computational Sciences (NYCCS), a cooperative effort between BNL and Stony Brook University. Each of the 18 racks consists of 1024 compute nodes (a total of 18432 nodes) with each node containing two 700 MHz PowerPC 440 core processors and 1 GB of memory (a total of 36864 processors and 18.4 TB of memory).
In addition, research laboratories in the CSB are well equipped with biophysical instrumentation for Fourier transform infrared, fluorescence, and circular dichroism spectroscopy, as well as atomic force microscopy. A number of core facilities also support and enhance the research productivity of investigators at in the BSB program. These include the Center for Analysis and Sequencing of Macromolecules (CASM); a DNA sequencing facility; a mass spectrometer facility; the University Microscopy Imaging Center (UMIC), with high-resolution equipment for performing light, confocal microscopy, and transmission/scanning electron microscopy; numerous shared computer facilities; a transgenic mouse facility; a spacious and expertly operated animal research laboratory; a monoclonal antibody tissue culture center; and a microarray facility.