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R E S E A R C H @ H K U S T
geneticists, biophysicists, and
computational chemists in
pursuit of greater understanding
of our molecular make-up.
Utilizing X-ray crystallography,
cr yo-electron microscopy
(cryo-EM), nuclear magnetic
resonance (NMR) spectroscopy,
super-resolution microscopy,
and high-performance computing,
HKUST scientists are delivering
world-leading fundamental
breakthroughs in areas related
to the human brain and
neuronal structural biology,
DNA replication machinery,
replication initiation, and the
transcription process.
New phenomena observed
and accounted for may lead
to target therapeutics for
neurological disorders such
as depression, autism, and
schizophrenia, explanations
and treatments for cancers, and
insights into questions such as
whywe age and how to prevent it.
With 30 trillion cells in operation
at any given time in a typical
human adult – practically a
universe of its own – how can
we ever understand ourselves?
Yet our bodies’ smallest and
most intricate mechanisms
are now on the brink of being
fathomed as structural biology,
with the aid of super-powerful
imaging technologies, shines
unprecedented light on the
miniscule and miraculous
molecular world continuously
at work within.
Structural biology sets out to
reveal what biomolecules, such
as proteins, enzymes and nucleic
acids, look like at atomic-scale
resolution, how they acquire
their structures, and how
alterations in these structures
affect their functions. Daunting
as the challenge may seem,
curiosity and the quest for new
knowledge are driving forward
the University’s cell biologists,
Basic research is like searching for a dark object
of unknown shape in a dark room. Something is
there. We do not know what it looks like. Only
when you find it, can you say “Ahh, this is it!”
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