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Structural biology

FRISBI : French Infrastructure for Integrated Structural Biology

Published on 30 January 2015
​FRISBI is a National Infrastructure in Biology and Health that coordinates a national network of integrated structural biology. Integrated structural biology combines structural data from different physical techniques, both cellular and in vitro, to understand how protein complexes or pathogens (e.g. viruses and bacteria) interact with their environment within the cell.


Grenoble and Strasbourg sites are the French contribution to the European infrastructure INSTRUCT as detailed by ESFRI, the European roadmap for research infrastructures.


Its missions

  • Develop, in partnership with industry, advanced technologies for the principal physical techniques of investigation in structural biology, including X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance, electron microscopy, etc.
  • Contribute to understanding the mechanisms that govern the functioning of healthy cells and the link between molecular deregulation and disease


Pano_3-Plateforme RMN.jpg
NMR spectrometer used in structural biology
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) allows determining the structure of proteins at the atomic scale and provides information on their dynamics. By applying electromagnetic disturbances to a protein sample subjected to a strong magnetic field (between 10 and 20 teslas), the experimenter can understand the nature and number of atoms that make up the protein, as well as their arrangement in the space. Here: NMR facilities at the IBS in Grenoble.
© D.Morel/CEA


Services offered

Providing to scientists the necessary equipment in structural biology, from production of protein samples (including their purification and qualitative and functional characterization) to their structural analysis as well as crystallization


CEA, CNRS, Université Joseph Fourier, Inserm, Université de Strasbourg, Université Paris-Sud, Université de Montpellier, Aix-Marseille Université.


FRISBI groups 5 sites of excellence in integrated structural biology, in Strasbourg, Grenoble, Montpellier, Marseille and Paris-Sud.




Bruno Klaholz, head of the “Integrative Structural Biology” team at the IGBMC

Formation of protein crystals under differents conditions.
X-ray crystallography allows the determination of protein structures at a resolution on the order of the atom. The necessary step is to obtain a crystal sample of the protein of interest. The conditions that will allow crystallization are often difficult to know in advance. Many parameters are involved, including pH, protein concentration, temperature and purity, all of which must be tested.
© D.Morel/CEA



In addition to the Bioenergetics, Structural Biology and Mechanisms unit SB2SM (CEA-IBITECS), the entire Institute of Structural Biology (IBS) is involved in this infrastructure. These teams make available their equipment, skills and advanced technologies for the structural and functional studies of biological macromolecules. Their researchers determine the structure and function of proteins involved in diverse biological processes, from radiobiology to the immune response to pathogens.

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