Molecular electrostatic potential mapped onto an electron density surface. This image illustrates the polarization of ligand and binding site residues produced by the surrounding protein residues (surrounding residues not displayed for image clarity). (Lybrand Lab)
The Sanders Lab seeks to contribute to both basic medical science and precision medicine by examining how defects in membrane proteins cause disease. (doodle by Sanders Lab postdoc Brett Kroncke)
The NR5A nuclear receptor transcription factors control genes involved in steroidogenesis. We discovered that these powerful cellular regulators bind signaling phosphoinositide lipids with their acyl chains buried in the hydrophobic core, but that the inositol headgroups are solvent exposed and can be acted on by lipid signaling enzymes. This forms the central hypothesis of the Blind Lab - that nuclear lipids bind transcriptional regulatory proteins to regulate gene expression by forming novel regulatory complexes, and that lipid signaling enzyme dynamically regulate formation of these complexes. (Blind Lab)
Structure of the complex formed between ankyrin-R and the cytoplasmic domain of the anion exchange protein. J. Biol. Chem. 286, 20746-20757,2011 (Beth Lab)
Elucidating the principles of RNA-chromatin modifying enzyme interactions using structural biology and biochemistry. (Reiter Lab, PDB ID: 4XBF)
A signaling pathway with crosstalk between programmed cell death (apoptosis) and Nf-kB inflammation (survival) signals. (Lopez Lab)
Super-resolution image of a melanoma cell engineered to assemble cell surface microvilli and labeled with phalloidin to visualize F-actin. (Image credit - Nathan Grega-Larson, Tyska Laboratory.)
Welcome to the Vanderbilt Molecular Biophysics Training Program (MBTP) website sponsored by the Center for Structural Biology (CSB) and an NIH NRSA T32 training grant. The program encompasses a network of ~150 faculty, students, postdocs and staff working at the interface between chemistry, physics, biology and medicine. Rooted in collaborative research efforts, the training faculty has primary appointments in eight different departments within the School of Medicine and the College of Arts and Science. Research spans different disciplines ranging from high-resolution structural biology to single molecule and single cell approaches, all directed towards understanding biology and medicine at the molecular level.
We hold a minimum of three meetings per month. Two are Tuesday noontime seminars given alternately by a member of the training faculty and a student. Every other month we present a special session on responsible conduct of research. Throughout the year, we host CSB/MBTP special seminars given by external speakers, including a student-hosted speaker. In addition to seminars, the community meets for informal discussion over snacks and drinks one Friday afternoon each month.
A major mission of the MBTP is to help train the next generation of biomedical researchers that have a strong foundation in molecular biophysics. To this end, our program offers funding for up to two years to a limited number of students that matriculate into MBTP-associated laboratories. Our program, however, is open to all scientists interested in furthering their knowledge of molecular biophysics.
The Molecular Biophysics Training Program is supported jointly by the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and College of Arts & Science.