A hallmark of chemical biology at the University of Michigan is that all of the participating scientists are driven to answer a core biological question using chemical tools and strategies.
Cancer Chemical Biology
Epigenetic, transcriptional and translational dysregulation are the hallmarks of cancer and also offer a powerful opportunity for therapeutic intervention. Research groups in the subarea use chemical biology approaches to discover novel targets and interactions to increase our mechanistic understanding of cancer onset and progression and to drive drug discovery.
The profound genetic diversity of microbes has produced a treasure trove of enzymes and signaling molecules for applications ranging from novel biomaterials to natural product-derived drugs. Researchers in this area seek to uncover microbial biosynthetic and signaling pathways in order to harness their potential.
As evidenced by the National Institutes of Health's BRAIN Initiative, there are many fundamental questions to be answered in neurobiology, research groups at Michigan focus on defining the post-translational modifications that are often the endpoint of neurological signaling and to define the role of unfolded proteins in neurological disorders.
Macromolecular Structure & Function
Underpinning all of the above sub-areas are advances in new technologies for the dissection and imaging of the structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules. Michigan has a long tradition of computational and structural biologists that discover and implement cutting edge technologies for such studies.