The Macromolecular Structure and Function B (MSFB) Study Section reviews applications that involve a broad range of biochemical, biophysical, and computational modeling approaches to address basic structure-function relationships in a variety of biological systems. The emphasis is on elucidating characteristics of individual proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and their complexes, and how their properties affect biological function of the molecules. Commonly engaged experimental approaches include development and application of NMR, x-ray scattering and diffraction, and optical and microwave spectroscopic methods to macromolecular structure and dynamic studies.

Review Dates

Membership Panel

The membership panel is a list of chartered members only.


  • Biophysical properties of proteins: structural dynamics, folding and misfolding processes; engineering proteins to targeted function; allostery and cooperativity in mechanism and control; thermodynamic and electrostatic features of protein stability, protein-protein interactions and function; folding and chaperone mechanisms.
  • Pathogenic protein misfolding and aggregation properties, including those associated with neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Biophysical and functional characterization of intrinsically disordered proteins and protein domains.
  • Effects of protein post-translational modifications on structure and regulation of function.
  • Structure and dynamics of DNA including effects of chemical modification. Protein-DNA interactions.
  • Effects of protein post-translational modification and epigenetic marks on protein-DNA interactions.
  • RNA species structure and dynamics; RNA-protein interactions; RNA catalysis, folding and splicing; ribozyme-based therapeutics.
  • Structure-function analysis of component protein-nucleic acid complexes of DNA replication, transcription, and repair processes and of DNA- or RNA- based genome editing systems. Aspects of ribosomal structure and function.
  • Physical properties and functional characterization of carbohydrates and glycoproteins.
  • Soluble component elements of signal transduction including circadian rhythm proteins, cytokines and chemokines and their receptors, kinases and phosphatases.

Shared Interests and Overlaps

There are shared interests in macromolecular biophysics and structural biology with Macromolecular Structure and Function A (MSFA), Macromolecular Structure and Function C (MSFC), and Biochemistry and Biophysics of Membranes (BBM). Applications focused on structural or biophysical analyses of RNA molecules, complexes or ribozymes, protein-nucleic complexes, biophysical properties of proteins, misfolded or unstructured proteins, or post-translational modifications of proteins are reviewed in MSFB. 

  • Applications intensively deploying computational or theoretical approaches are reviewed in MSFA. Structure-function applications of larger macromolecular assemblies of cell signaling, DNA-replication and repair, and RNA translational processes are reviewed in MSFC.  Applications involving extensive development and deployment of single-molecule detection or manipulation technology and of cryo-EM/ET methodology are reviewed in MSFC. Applications to systems with essential membrane interactions are reviewed in BBM.

There are shared interests in the areas of protein folding /misfolding with Cell Structure and Function-1 (CSF-1). Applications that emphasize protein folding/misfolding at molecular detail using biophysical and biochemical tools are reviewed in MSFB.  Applications using cell biological approaches to study basic principles and regulation of in vivo folding with implications for cell biological processes are reviewed in CSF-1.

There are shared interests in mechanisms of genetic regulation with Molecular Genetics (MG). Applications involving studies of RNA, DNA and smaller component protein-nucleic acid complexes where the focus is primarily directed toward structure-function properties and biophysical interactions of components that establish molecular bases for DNA- and RNA-driven cellular processes are reviewed in MSFB.  Applications that emphasize biological mechanisms and implications of these for cellular processes are reviewed in MG.

There are shared interests with the Molecular and Structural Immunology (MSI) in mathematical modeling, computational biology, and structure analyses. Applications that focus generally on macromolecule structure/function, bioinformatics, and computer modeling may be reviewed in MSFA, MSFB, or MSFC. Applications with a focus on the immunological outcome of such studies may be reviewed in MSI.


Last updated: 05/13/2024 06:10