Structural biology is a young science and research in this area is moving forward rapidly. The course contents ranges from fundamentals in structural biology to contemporary research, and the precise topics are subjects of change to appropriately reflect the research frontier.
• Basics of protein structure (building blocks, intramolecular and intermolecular interactions, levels of protein structure, canonical protein databases) and other relevant biomolecules.
• Concepts of thermodynamics in the context of protein structure, stability and function (e.g. folding, ligand binding, complex formation).
• Central structure-function concepts in biology (e.g. signal transduction, transcription and translation, molecular transport, molecular motors).
• Overview of methods for experimental structure determination of biomolecules (e.g. crystal structure analysis, single particle cryo-electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance); and biophysical methods for characterization (neutron scattering, circular dichroism, electron paramagnetic resonance, infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, optical imaging).
• Computational approaches for modeling of biomolecules and related energetics (e.g. homology modeling, molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo, course-grained approach, molecular docking, free energy calculations, entropy calculations).
• Validation and critical analysis of experimentally derived biomolecular structures.