About the Lab

The Laboratory of Biomolecular Research (LBR) investigates fundamental molecular mechanisms that determine human health and disease, and explores resulting therapeutic opportunities. Specifically, the LBR aims to provide an atomic level understanding of how the structure and dynamics of proteins and their complexes control essential physiological processes. We perform curiosity-driven, basic molecular biology research in the areas of cell division, signaling, host-pathogen interactions, and membrane biology. Furthermore, we actively pursue possibilities to engage in applied and translational research. Our science focuses primarily on the structural analysis of challenging soluble and membrane-bound protein samples by using state-of-the-art X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) techniques in combination with biochemical and biophysical methods. 

Role of the LBR 

The LBR develops high-impact molecular biology research programs in structural biology, which capitalize on the unique infrastructures at PSI like the Swiss Light Source (SLS) and the Swiss X-ray Free Electron Laser (SwissFEL). We use or implement novel technologies in sample preparation, handling, and delivery, as well as in the acquisition and analysis of synchrotron, X-ray laser, and cryo-EM data. In this context, we have a proven track record of valorization and commercialization of internally developed technologies through start-up enterprises. Within the BIO division, our projects enable collaborations with both the Laboratory of Nanoscale Biology and the Center for Radiopharmaceutical Sciences. We maintain a worldwide network of both academic and industrial collaborations to ensure PSI’s leading position at the forefront of structural biology research. Furthermore, we are well integrated within the Swiss academic landscape through affiliations with the ETH Zürich and the Universities of Zürich and Basel. Several courses for bachelor and master students at these academic institutions or at the PSI are either organized or contributed by members of the LBR. Through these courses and the supervision of semester, master, and doctoral students, the LBR contributes to PSI’s teaching program. The LBR also contributes to the education, infrastructure, and organization of PSI. It hosts the Vocational Training and Chemical Management group, and operates PSI’s Crystallization Facility together with the Photon Science Division. Furthermore, several researchers of the LBR are active members of internal PSI committees, including the Equal Opportunity Committee, the Confidential Advisor Committee, the Personnel Committee, and the Research Committee.