Expertise – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology > Research > Biostructural Research > Expertise


The Section for Biostructural Research has a research pipeline that covers everything from cloning of proteins to determination of 3D-structures and analysis of protein function. We have the capability to produce many biologically important target molecules in milligram amounts and of the high purity required for further studies. Target structures provide important information for structure-based design of novel compounds and optimisation of lead compounds. Compounds are synthesised, tested and optimised in collaboration with medicinal chemistry and synthetic organic chemistry groups.

Cloning and protein expression

  • Subcloning and heterologous expression of proteins in E. coli, Pichia pastoris and insect cells.

Protein purification and characterisation

  • Production of pure proteins in milligram amounts using standard chromatographic techniques.
  • Protein characterisation, including isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), dynamic light scattering (DLS) and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. 

X-ray crystallography

  • Determination of 3D-structures of target molecules, ligand-target complexes and low-molecular weight compounds, including determination of absolute configuration.
  • Small-angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS)
  • Ab initio structure determination of target molecules and complexes in solution at lower resolution. Comparison with high-resolution structures and modelling of structural flexibility and conformational changes. Development of high-throughput SAXS in a µTAS.

Molecular modelling and computational chemistry

Computational analysis provides a link between the diversity of experimental data generated by crystallography, in addition to data from medicinal chemists, spectroscopists, pharmacologists, molecular biologists and electrophysiologists.

Methods used include homology modelling, force-field based analysis of ligands and binding sites, docking and structure-based design, pharmacophore modelling and database searching, 3D-QSAR, as well as ab initio calculations of small molecule structures, molecular properties and reaction mechanisms in solution.

Read more about our facilities.