Skip to main content

Working Groups in the CBT

CBT Groups

The CBT is structured into seven research groups whose Section Leaders work with PIs, postdoctoral fellows, and students to address complex research goals. CBT provides the expertise and state-of-the-art resources needed to develop recombinant protein expression vectors as well as express (bioreactors/fermenters), purify (HPLC/FPLC), crystallize, and characterize (X-ray and NMR) proteins, protein complexes, nucleic acid complexes, as well as complexes involving small molecule inhibitors (i.e. drugs) and biological therapeutics. The center also has dedicated space for high-throughput screening and target validation at the biochemical and cellular levels (robots, plate readers, tissue culture suites). 


Please visit each section page to learn more about their instrumentation and capabilities.

  • Structural Biology (SB, Section Leader: Kristen Varney, PhD): determining three-dimensional structures of proteins, protein complexes and other macromolecules to understand the structural basis for biological function and dynamics to aid in the identification and characterization of therapeutic targets.
  • Protein Engineering & Biophysics (PEB, Section Leader: Raquel Godoy-Ruiz, PhD):
    producing purified proteins for investigators, including for advanced uses in other CBT sections (i.e. Structural Biology (SB) for NMR and crystallization and Target Validation & Screening (TVS) for use in in vitro assays).
  • Computer-Aided Drug Design (CADD) (CAAD, Section Leader: Alex MacKerell Jr., PhD): providing computational approaches to speed drug discovery and design.
  • Medicinal Chemistry (MC, Section Leader: Vincent Njar, PhD): discovering and developing new drugs for improving human health.
  • Target Validation & Screening (TVS, Acting Section Leader: Kaylin Adipietro, PhD): cell and molecular biology techniques to identify therapeutic targets and screens for chemical perturbagens as a step towards developing new drugs and therapies.
  • Genomics & Bioinformatics (GB): the CBT works directly with The Institute for
    Genome Sciences (IGS) to generate high quality genomic data and genome annotation and analysis.
  • In Vivo Biology & Drug Testing (IVBDT): the CBT works with The UMB Translational Laboratory Shared Service (TLSS) for in vivo pre-clinical evaluation of chemical probes and lead compounds from drug discovery efforts, as well as diagnostics.