The research carried out in our department aims at understanding the mechanisms involved in the recognition and processing of information by individual cells, in health and in stress or disease states. The underlying theme of our studies involves the structure and function of proteins that communicate with the environment, under normal and abnormal conditions. The topics of our various research groups range from neuronal function and signaling in behavior and in neurodegeneration, through circadian rhythms, to the balance between death and proliferation in cancer cells. Some of our groups focus on signal transduction from the cell membrane, through the cytoplasm, to the nucleus. Other groups study the transcriptional and post-transcriptional changes in gene expression that result from such nuclear signaling. Additional groups focus on investigating the links between protein structure and function, how this information can be exploited to modify protein characteristics, and how cells meticulously maintain the quality of their proteins.
Our researchers use a plethora of experimental approaches, from bacteria, yeast, insect and mammalian systems, to genetically manipulated mouse models (transgenic mice, knock-out and knock-in), and recently-developed techniques such as lentiviral infection and RNA interference. State-of-the-art equipment is employed in our studies, and includes X-ray crystallography, mass-spectroscopy, confocal microscopy, and high throughput robotic screening.
The department's strength stems from the interdisciplinary approach that we apply to the questions at hand, and our ability to merge classic biochemistry with modern fields such as systems biology and computational biology.
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