The study of the structure and function of marcromolecules constitutes the foundation of the Department of Molecular Biology's research srategy. Within this strategic frame, the Department has prioritized 4 focus areas in our research:
- Protein-structure relations
- Developmental biology
- Functional genomics
- Structural bioinformatics
The strategy is based on the view that research in molecular biology must be directed towards the exploration of protein function, at molecular, cellular and organism levels. Well suited model systems and organisms must be used in concert with up to date advanced methodology and analytic technology within functional genomics and bioinformatics.
More than half of the groups at the Department do research on protein function - through detailed studies of single proteins and by (sub-) proteomic approaches. Zebrafish is utilized as a model organism by three groups, and several groups undertake studies on atlantic salmon.
All the researchers at the Department are working with problems related to the structure and molecular properties of proteins, in combination with their biological function and cellular localization. A variety of model systems are used including eukaryotic animals and/or cell cultures, prokaryots and viruses.
Several groups work with embryonic development and sex development in fish. Another line of research within this are is the study of effects of environmental pollution (hormone mimicing factors) in marine species.
Groups at the Department have in cooperation with other groups at the University of Bergen and TIGR (USA) carried out the first bacterial genome project, and we also participate in marine genome projects.
Researches at the Department collaborate closely with groups at the Department of Informatics and at the Computational Biology Unit (CBU) in developing bioinformatic tools, databases etc.