Every cell of the human body is made by several millions of biomolecules: proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates. These molecules interact with each other continously, in intricate networks in space and in time. Studying the three-dimensional structure and the interactions of these molecules, and how it changes by different interactions and their environment over time, allows to understand their function in normal cells, but also the subtle chemical changes that can occur in specific molecules in cancer. That chemical understanding in turn allows to design specific therapeutics, that could direclty or indirectly trigger events that kill cancer cells.
In my group we develop methods that allow the Structural Biology community to "build" more accurate structures of biomolecules determined by macromolecular X-ray crystallography (MX) and cryo-Electron Microscopy (EM). Concurrently, we apply MX and EM and various other biophysical methods to study specific biomolecules and their interactions. Specific biological problems that interest us in particular, include the study of the structure of proteins that are involved in lysolipid signalling, and control the progress of cell division.
Within Oncode we want to apply structure-based approaches, and in particuar the fragment-based drug discovery approach to find new chemicals that could be developed to novel drugs for cancer.