You are here : Home > Plateforms, equipments and expertise

Plateforms, equipments and expertise

Structural biology and biophysics

​Researchers at the DSV develop methodologies and innovative skills to understand the dynamics and structure of macromolecules within the complexity of the cell.

Published on 5 May 2015

​The DSV has a structural biology platform in Grenoble – the Institut de biologie structurale (IBS) – and a biophysics platform in Saclay, within the CEA-IBITECS. The DSV teams involved in these platforms are endowed with a variety of equipment and numerous fields of expertise, especially in crystallography, NMR spectroscopy and optical spectroscopy. These teams also develop methodologies that make exploring the living more efficient. Both platforms are certified by IBiSA and participate in the national infrastructure in biology and health FRISBI.


The IBS directly benefits from its proximity to the ESRF synchrotron radiation source. In addition, it is a member of the Partnership for structural biology (PSB) along with the EMBL, ESRF and ILL. The IBS, driven by an innovative approach, has an internationally recognized expertise in producing/characterizing soluble proteins and membranes; determining their structure, folding and dynamics; and analyzing macromolecular complexes and interactions. A few examples:

  • The developing of effective and innovative approaches to determine the high-resolution structure of membrane proteins. These focus on methods of membrane protein crystallization, especially in mesophase.
  • The ANOXTAL facility allows the automated crystallization of proteins under anaerobic conditions. Confined within special enclosures, the facility is particularly well adapted to study highly sensitive proteins in the presence of oxygen, such as metalloproteins. Automation facilitates the high throughput screening of standard crystallization conditions.
  • The study – by NMR spectroscopy – of the flexibility and dynamics of unstructured proteins, in addition to the real-time folding of proteins and RNA is a major field of expertise at the IBS. Several teams are developing innovative exploration methods that are available to the scientific community.

Supervisor: Winfried WEISSENHORN

The biophysics platform at IBITECS

The biophysics platform at IBITECS arose from the mastery of a consistent body of spectroscopic methods for structural biology by several of its teams. It provides access to a wide range of optical and magnetic spectroscopies (absorption spectroscopy, electronic fluorescence, Raman, infrared, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), NMR, time-resolved spectroscopy, etc.) that are particularly used in radiobiology (i.e. to study the genomic integrity of the cell nucleus) and bioenergy (i.e. to study photosystems and especially hydrogenases). 
Supervisor: Bruno ROBERT