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Biochemistry and Structural Biology

The research teams of the division constitute a world-leading research environment in biochemistry and structural biology.

The research aims:

  • to better understand the structure-function-dynamics relationship of the cellular machinery
  • to develop new and innovative methods for production and characterization of biomolecules
  • to identify novel therapeutic drugs combatting e.g. cancer and antibacterial resistance.

Studies of membrane proteins have since long been one of the cornerstones of the division, and has in later years been expanded to include several additional focus areas. Among the expertise and techniques represented in the division we find X-ray crystallography, NMR, Cryo-EM, EPR, and computational modeling.

The division provides a highly international work environment and has been awarded several prestigious research grants.

Research groups within the division of Biochemistry and Structural Biology

Martin BilleterMartin Billeter

Design and implementation of scalable fast NMR techniques. Prolog-based protein modelling using “easy-to-obtain” experimental data.


Gisela BrändénGisela Brändén

Development of methods for time-resolved structural studies using synchrotron and XFEL radiation, applied to study membrane-bound energy converting enzymes of the cell. Structure-based drug design to develop novel antibiotics.

Björn BurmannBjörn Burmann

The Burmann group investigates macromolecular protein machines by high-resolution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) to decipher dynamical and structural changes underlying essential cellular functions.

Leif ErikssonLeif Eriksson

Computer based modeling of protein structures, enzymatic mechanisms, protein-protein interactions and design of new pharmaceuticals, primarily focusing on cancer and antibiotics.

Örjan HanssonÖrjan Hansson

The research involves studies of electron-transfer reactions in photosynthesis and of copper-containing proteins using EPR spectroscopy. In addition, we are doing research in educational science, in particular how science centers can be used in the education of science teachers.

Kristina HedfalkKristina Hedfalk

Increased knowledge of the structure and function of integral membrane proteins, key molecules in all cells, requires protein design and stable production in a suitable host.


Johanna HöögJohanna Höög

Johanna Höög's group focuses on cellular electron microscopy, especially cryo-electron tomography. The research focus is on how eukaryotic flagella are constructed, especially human sperm tails.

Gergely Katona

Gergely Katona's group investigates the terahertz dynamics in biomolecules. The group is particularly interested in energy/information transmission and storage mediated by phonons in biological environments.

Göran KarlssonGöran Karlsson





Michal Maj 

The research in the Maj group combines ultrafast laser spectroscopy and structural biology techniques to investigate the molecular origins of amyloid diseases, with a particular focus on type II diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

Richard Neutze

Vladislav Orekhov

Developing and applying NMR methodology for structural biology. We integrate novel experiments, signal processing algorithms, and artificial intelligence for removing barriers in biomolecular NMR studies.

Sebastian WestenhoffSebastian Westenhoff

Westenhoffs goal is to measure and visualize chemical and biological reactions. His group develops spektroscopic methods and time-resolved X-ray scattering to film structural changes with atomic precision.

Research for sustainable development

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals.Our research in Biochemistry and Systematic Biology contributes to sustainable development in many different ways. Amongst others, we work with:

Good health and well-being. Several projects look at the basis of different cancers, bacterial resistance mechanisms or neurodegenerative diseases, and actively involve drug design. Development of predictive models of biomolecules to assist diagnostics, reveals the causes of diseases and assists drug development. Several of the proteins studied are common drug targets.

Clean Water and sanitation. Understand the basis of transcription of virulence genes of Vibrio cholerae in order to be able to more efficiently get rid of it in drinking water. Aquaporins could act in water filtering devices.

Sustainable energy for all. Artificial biological systems could possibly reduce the energy requirements of industrial assembly . Studies of photosynthesis contributes to a basic understanding of efficient energy production.

Sustainable industry, innovations and infrastructure. Artificial biological systems could possibly reduce the energy requirements of industrial assembly through predictable. organic self-assembly and replacing power-hungry in silico computation. Several of the inhibitors and proteomimetic systems that have been developed through the use of computer simulations are actively being transferred on to comersialisation and development of new pharmaceuticals.

Read more about Research and Sustainable Development

The Department's Principal Investigators

The Department's scientific publications

Page Manager: Katleen Burm|Last update: 10/10/2019

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