The McGill University Centre for Structural Biology (CSB) is dedicated to facilitating cutting-edge research in structural biology by hosting a wide variety of modern biophysical equipment platforms at McGill. It provides access to skilled support staff, fosters collaborations and promotes interdisciplinary training of students and postdoctoral scholars. The CSB brings together researchers from 9 departments of the Faculties of Medicine, Dentistry, Science and Engineering. Its current membership is 28 full members and 8 associate members from McGill.
The CSB’s mission is to focus the expertise of McGill University researchers in structural biology for understanding the molecular basis of disease and designing new treatments, while promoting interdisciplinary training in the areas of bionanomachines, synthetic biology, and the life sciences. It strategically positions researchers to make important discoveries and advance knowledge of the role of protein conformation in diseases such as Parkinson’s and bacterial infections, and also, by investigating natural bionanomachines, to gain insights into the design of nanoscale devices.
Three principles guide the activity of the centre:
- To support outstanding research programs in structural biology in the areas of conformational diseases, infectious diseases, and synthetic biology.
- To prepare the new generation of scientists by supporting training programs in structural biology and related areas.
- To collaborate with clinicians and other scientists to promote the translation of basic science results into new drugs and therapies for diseases and other real-world applications.
The CSB builds on several past and ongoing multi-group research initiatives, including NSERC Collaborative REsearch And Training Experience (CREATE) Training Program in Bionanomachines, the FRQ-S Groupe de Recherche Axé sur la Structure des Protéines (GRASP), the CIHR Strategic Training Programs in Chemical Biology and in Systems Biology, and projects with infrastructure grants from the CFI and the government of Quebec. The CSB coordinates with the Quebec Regional High Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility and the Facility for Electron Microscopy Research to provide an excellent, collaborative, and supportive environment for research and training in structural biology.