Structural biology gives an unparalleled insight into the molecular details of biological mechanisms, an insight that has the potential to lead to rationally-designed therapies. This is illustrated by some recent studies.

Professor Huntington is studying the details of the delicate control of coagulation by members of the serpin family of serine protease inhibitors; over the past year, new insights have been gained into the control by serpins of factor IXa and thrombin. Research in Professor Read’s group is in the field of protein crystallography, focusing on the serpin family and featuring the Phaser and Rosetta programmes.