Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research
The Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research aims to gain insight into the relation, at the molecular level, between the structure and the function and activity of biomolecules that are involved in recognition, interaction, and regulatory processes. To achieve this goal, the Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research maintains an advanced infrastructure and provides high-quality research training programs for young scientists.
Internationally, the importance of understanding the structure and function of biomolecules is well appreciated. The increasing availability of genomes of various species opens the way to do predictions for yet unknown proteins.
However, knowledge of the amino acid sequence of proteins does not provide an understanding of their function. This requires study of their three-dimensional structure, chemical modifications (e.g., glycosylation and phosphorylation), and localization (cytosolic, membrane-associated), and insight into how their expression is regulated and their interactions with other biomolecules. The availability of complete genome sequences has ushered in the era of functional and structural genomics.
In order to follow an integrated approach to the study of biomolecular processes, infrastructures, with the complementary knowledge and experience, are provided for. These include advanced mass spectrometry, high-resolution NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography for resolving the structure of a wide range of biomolecules. Additional biochemical and molecular techniques are used to further study the function, localization, and interactions of biomolecules in the intracellular and extracellular environment and in biomembranes.
The groups participating in the Bijvoet School provide education and research training programs for PhD students. The Bijvoet Center and School are based in the Faculties of Science and the University Medical Center Utrecht. They are associated with several other research centers, such as the ABC cluster, thus contributing to a high-quality multidisciplinary biomolecular research endeavor at Utrecht University.