The Laboratory of Biomolecular Research (LBR) works on three broad, overlapping research topics: (i) membrane protein structure and function, (ii) structure-function relationships of macromolecular assemblies of the cell and (iii) new methods for bio-structural analysis. LBR’s principal investigators have academic freedom in achieving the scientific goals of their projects. The LBR is responsible for key research instrumentation at PSI: electron microscopy, biophysical instruments and light microscopy, protein production. Together with the SLS, LBR shares responsibility for the protein crystallisation facility. The LBR Young Researchers Network (LYRN) organises scientific and social activities to complement LBR’s excellent research infrastructure, providing an attractive environment for young scientists in structural biology.
The Center of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences pursues research in the fields of tracer preparation and in vivo imaging of tissues, in particular of disseminated tumors that cannot be removed surgically or by external radiation therapy. The laboratory is operated jointly by ETH Zürich and PSI. The laboratory creates therapeutic molecules by combining particular types of biomolecules, such as for instance antibodies, with radioactive nuclides. These reagents are used to image tumors and to selectively target and destroy tumor cells in animal models. PSI cooperates with universities, hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry to ensure the most effective coordination of its basic research capabilities with clinical applications.
The Laboratory of Nanoscale Biology (LNB) investigates the molecular structure and dynamics of complex molecular machines and cascades within the context of the living cell. Technological developments at the PSI provide novel approaches for studying fundamental, molecular processes of life within their physiological context. Electron diffraction and cryo-electron microscopy of bio-molecular complexes form the technological basis of the LNB, together with electron tomography and X-ray diffractive imaging of larger, nanoscopic structures. We develop these technologies in studies of fundamental, molecular aspects of neuro-degeneration and cell motility, and investigate other fundamental processes of life in collaboration. Intellectual property on novel technologies developed at the LNB may lead to commercial spin-outs.