Led by Professor David Eisenberg, scientists have for the first time mapped the atomic structure of a protein within a living cell


Director Sabeeha Merchant elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences


Over 90 crystallographic structures deposited in 2014


The NIH Director’s 2014 New Innovator Award


The UCLA-DOE Institute is a team of research laboratories working on fundamental research and technology developments in broad DOE mission areas ranging from microbes, to biofuels and green chemistry, to the design of new biomaterials.

Division of Microbial Genomics and Proteomics

Unicellular organisms account for a substantial fraction of global primary productivity. They represent the most evolutionarily and metabolically diverse organisms, with capacity to thrive in highly specialized environmental niches. In this Division, we apply emerging technologies to define and probe the genomes, proteomes and metabolism of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes. Our research efforts emphasize genome-level interpretations, especially in the context of the environment and in relation to other species, and offer a substantial component of discovery in uncharted metabolic pathways.

Division of Systems Biology and Design

Biological systems are distinguished by their high level of organization. Their composition from multiple interacting components allows them to exhibit many kinds of complex behaviors, enabling chemical transformations and synthetic processes that are often tightly regulated and/or spatially controlled for optimal performance. In this Division, we apply emerging technologies to dissect and re-engineer complex biochemical processes and structures. Our efforts aim to create advanced chemicals and novel biologically-based materials in support of DOE interests in energy, green chemistry, and bioprocessing.

Latest News


Characterization of the SAM domain of the PKD-related protein ANKS6 and its interaction with ANKS3.

The Bowie lab uncovered the structural basis for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, the most common genetic disorder leading to end-stage renal failure in humans. The team, lead by Catherine Leettola discovered the identities of the pair of proteins which interact normally in healthy patients but fail to interact in patients affected by the disease […]

Top panel is an electron micrograph of Bacillus thuringiensis used in this study. The crystal occupies most of the cell volume. Diffraction from the cells (lowerleft) extends to 2.9 Å resolution. Lower right shows structural detail.

Protein crystal structure obtained at 2.9 Å resolution from injecting bacterial cells into an X-ray free-electron laser beam.

The Eisenberg lab led an international team of 22 scientists in obtaining a 2.9 angstrom resolution protein crystal structure by injecting bacterial cells into an X-ray free-electron laser beam. Their accomplishment was remarkable because unlike the ∼100,000 biological structures determined by X-ray crystallography to date, the macromolecule under study was not extracted from the cells […]

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