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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Structural Biology

Periods
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.05.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biochemistry and molecular biology   

Code Science Field
P250  Natural sciences and mathematics  Condensed matter: structure, thermal and mechanical properties, crystallography, phase equilibria 
P310  Natural sciences and mathematics  Proteins, enzymology 
P351  Natural sciences and mathematics  Structure chemistry 
P370  Natural sciences and mathematics  Macromolecular chemistry 
B110  Biomedical sciences  Bioinformatics, medical informatics, biomathematics biometrics 
B120  Biomedical sciences  Molecular biophysics 
B500  Biomedical sciences  Immunology, serology, transplantation 
T360  Technological sciences  Biochemical technology 
T410  Technological sciences  Pharmaceuticals and related technologies 
T490  Technological sciences  Biotechnology 
Keywords
structural biology, macromolecular crystallography, immunology,limited proteolysis, MHC class II, cathepsins, invariant chain, antigen presentation, endosomlal pathway, computational methods
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (17)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  22282  PhD Miha Andrejašič  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Technical associate  2007 - 2008  18 
2.  23477  PhD Mojca Beseničar  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2008  40 
3.  08327  PhD Kristina Djinovic Carugo  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2004  350 
4.  15970  Andreja Doberšek  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Technical associate  2004 - 2008  25 
5.  06416  PhD Marko Dolinar  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  344 
6.  18284  PhD Katja Galeša  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2004 - 2006  39 
7.  15639  PhD Gregor Gunčar  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  266 
8.  20212  PhD Saša Jenko Kokalj  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2004 - 2007  65 
9.  19332  PhD Manca Kenig  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2004  36 
10.  22320  PhD Marko Mihelič  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  79 
11.  19422  Polonca Pirš    Technical associate  2007 - 2008 
12.  24270  PhD Jure Pražnikar  Computer science and informatics  Junior researcher  2005 - 2008  40 
13.  25629  PhD Miha Renko  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Junior researcher  2005 - 2008  87 
14.  15813  PhD Boris Rogelj  Neurobiology  Researcher  2004 - 2005  412 
15.  19171  PhD Igor Kristian Štern  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004 - 2007  31 
16.  04988  PhD Dušan Turk  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Head  2004 - 2008  628 
17.  15588  Nastja Zakrajšek    Technical associate  2004 - 2006 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0103  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology  Ljubljana  1626990  23,426 
2.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,855 
Significance for science
Structural studies combined with biochemical, molecular and cell biology and physiological approaches enable us to gain insight into the mechanisms of interactions of molecules, their specificity and physiological role. The understanding of mechanisms of biological processes is the basis, which allows targeted manipulation of biological systems with foreseen consequences and thereby enables the use of knowledge for the benefit of humanity and life on Earth. Structural biology is one of the most quickly evolving areas of contemporary science. Results in the area of structural biology are a consequence of combined use of complex technological approaches and techniques by competent and specialized team members. Its development is linked to substantial investment into research, including infrastructural facilities as diffraction beamlines at synchrotrons and protein and crystal production facilities. Availability of the whole genomes of a variety of organisms, including human, endows this investigation with new dimension. Parallelization of procedures, their automation, appearance of a variety of novel techniques are providing the possibility to synergistically increase the output of research. It must be stressed though that the lack of investments and the size of team below the critical mass are a serious limitation for the continuation of competitive research at the international level. Understanding of immune response at a molecular level is the key factor in our defense against infectious and autoimmune diseases. Elucidation of players and characterization of individual interactions among them may help us to deliver therapeutics for treatment and prevention of such diseases. Therefore research targeting the key players of the mechanisms of the adaptive immunity is one of the most developed and cutting edge research areas in the world.
Significance for the country
Understanding of mechanisms of interaction of biological molecules is the basis, which allows targeted manipulation of biological systems with foreseen consequences and thereby enables the use of knowledge for the benefit of humanity and life on Earth. The newly generated knowledge can lead to new products which stimulate economic development. This proposal supports the sustained development. The Structural biology program is collaborating with a number of groups inside and outside the country (see the main application form). If the infrastructural program “Centre for protein and structure production” will receive adequate funding it is expected that the technological support for the protein production will be improved (as suggested by the FEBS evaluation performed in 2005). It is expected that such Center will provide support for a number of groups in the country and near vicinity. The Structural biology is currently the only program, which has the elementary equipment and is capable of applying a variety of techniques in successful determination of 3-dimensional structures of macromolecules from the crystals. The program leader is with over 3000 citations one of the most cited scientist in the country and received in 2005 Zois award, the highest Slovenian award for scientific achievements. The working group is a potential source of highly qualified personal that is needed in modern biotechnology oriented industry. 4 PhD students are currently trained. Qualified personal has the potential to start their independent industrial career in the area of molecular biology, biotechnology and agriculture. PhD in natural sciences is also the basic education for patent lawyers. Ex members Manca Kenig and Igor Stern are current Lek employees, whereas Sasa Jenko Kokalj current employee is European Comission, where she acts as the scientific officer responsible for genomics and systems biology projects. The knowledge and expertise is of interest for pharmaceutical industry as indicated by contracts with pharmaceutical company Lek and resulting publication. Besides in 2007 an European patent has been approved for utilization of crystal structures of cathepsin C.
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