About the Department

The primary goal of the Department of Structural Biology at St. Jude is to understand life and disease at the atomic level.  

We use sophisticated biophysical techniques — such as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy and tomography, single-molecule imaging, and mass spectrometry — to determine the three-dimensional structures and dynamics of biological macromolecules. These experimental methods are combined with computational and data-science approaches, to provide insight into how macromolecules move, alter their structures and interact with other molecules, in order to carry out their biological functions. Such integrative studies expand our understanding of the most fundamental biological processes and of the diseases that arise when those processes go awry.  

Researchers in our department are working to decipher the biophysical principles and molecular details of key cellular processes, including gene expression, subcellular organization, oncogenesis, protein translation, protein folding and misfolding, fatty acid biosynthesis, membrane transport, signaling and cell death. Atomic-level information of proteins and macromolecular complexes provide fundamental insights and can help design new therapeutics, materials and diagnostic tools.  

Core Centers

The Technology Core Centers at the Structural Biology Department provide investigators with access to cutting-edge equipment and methodologies. Each Center is managed by dedicated staff scientists who provide training and support to researchers investigating structure–function of proteins and of macromolecular complexes. With in-house scientific expertise and state-of-the-art facilities, the Centers enable the combination of multiple approaches to tackle challenging biological problems, thus empowering integrative structural biology. 

Protein Technologies Center 
Director: Ravi Kalathur, PhD 

Biomolecular NMR Center
Director: Youlin Xia, PhD

Biomolecular X-Ray Crystallography Center
Director: Darcie Miller, PhD 

Cryo-Electron Microscopy Center
Acting Director: Syed Asfarul Haque, PhD

Single-Molecule Imaging Center

Computational Structural Biology Center
(in development) 

Cryo-Electron Tomography Center
(in development) 

Center of Mass Spectrometry for Structural Biology
(in development)

focus areas

Adjunct Faculty

Emeritus Faculty

Department team

Charalampos G. Kalodimos, PhD
Chair, Joseph Simone Endowed Chair in Basic Research 

Robert Hsu
Sr. Director of Operations

Elisabetta Bini, PhD
Director of Research Operations 

Inês Chen, PhD
Director of Scientific & Strategic Operations 

Zhaowen Luo, MSc
Scientific Visualization Engineer 

Sara Alston
Administrative Director

David Farmer
Sr. Administrative Coordinator

Angela Williams 
Administrative Coordinator

Meredith Serna
Administrative Coordinator

Takesha Waters
Sr. Administrative Specialist


Join us

St. Jude investigators have the freedom to focus on making big discoveries, backed by extraordinary resources and support teams. We are always looking for highly motivated scientists and engineers with passion and talent to join us! 

Explore career opportunities in Structural Biology

We are currently recruiting!

Contact us

Structural Biology MS311

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN, 38105-3678 USA
901-595-5452 robert.hsu@stjude.org

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262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN, 38105-3678 USA