WHAT IS STRUCTURAL AND MOLECULAR BIOCHEMISTRY?
Structural biochemistry combines chemistry, biology, and physics to study the structures of molecules within cells. It focuses on the study of large molecules such as carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids (the building blocks that make up our DNA). Molecular biochemistry looks at the structure and function of molecules within cells and tissues. This includes studying the function and regulation of biochemical pathways, which are series of chemical reactions that take place in the cell, such as metabolism and DNA repair.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A STRUCTURAL AND MOLECULAR BIOCHEMIST?
Structural and molecular biochemists often work at academic institutions, within healthcare, or at private companies. Tasks may include planning and conducting experiments, performing literature reviews, and often mentoring or teaching. Biochemists use cell lines, laboratory equipment, and software to explore particular molecules and cellular components. In this way, biochemists can learn about these molecules and cellular components’ functions, then integrate that learning into the growing complex picture of cellular behaviour. Structural and molecular biochemists require a strong interest in biological sciences at a microscopic level. A strong background in both chemistry and biology is essential for this field. Typically, a university undergraduate degree in biochemistry or a related field is the minimum requirement for a career in structural and molecular biochemistry, although most positions will require graduate education.
WHERE IS THE FIELD OF STRUCTURAL AND MOLECULAR BIOCHEMISTRY HEADING?
An understanding of the molecular pathways of the human body is essential to treating cancer. In particular, understanding the differences in the function of these pathways among different people would help in designing personalized cancer therapies tailored to the patient.
Structural biochemistry has provided new insight into diseases such as AIDS and arthritis and is a promising field for improving cancer care. In-depth study of metabolism and epigenetics—how structural modifications to DNA affect cells—have also resulted in novel breakthroughs in our understanding of how cancer progresses and spreads.