Every day within every living cell, DNA is regulated and transcribed into mRNA. mRNA is translated into proteins. Cell membranes are recycled and lipids are modified. Proteins are “tagged” for degradation. Cells communicate with other cells and signals in their environment. Each of these processes involves complex molecular machinery. Molecular biology and biochemistry provide powerful tools to reveal the molecular interactions that form the basis of all cellular function.
Whereas the roots of biochemistry date back to the 1800s, the term “molecular biology” was coined in 1938. Modern biomedical research typically combines approaches from genetics and genomics with those of molecular biology and biochemistry to unravel complex molecular stories. For example, when scientists first identify a new gene associated with a particular disease, they may be able to use information from the gene sequence to interpret its function. However, the next experimental steps typically involve identifying how the gene product interacts with other molecules in the cell.
Investigators in the Intramural Research Program (IRP) who are engaged in wide-ranging research problems, sharing their core expertise in molecular biology and biochemistry to further the understanding of the basic biological mechanisms required for development of therapies and approaches to combat disease.
To learn more about the IRP researchers engaged in molecular biology and biochemistry, visit the Molecular Biology/Biochemistry Interest Group.