current research


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Angela Gronenborn heads the Department of Structural Biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and holds the UPMC Rosalind Franklin Chair. The Department was established in 2005, and faculty carry out research on diverse topics in Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics aimed at understanding the fundamental principles that govern cellular function in a variety of biological systems.

Dr. Gronenborn was trained as a chemist and received both her undergraduate and PhD degrees from the University of Cologne, Germany. Her interest in NMR spectroscopy originated in her graduate work that focused on quantum mechanical calculations of NMR parameters.  She moved to London in 1978 for post-doctoral training at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and joined the Institute as a member of the Scientific Staff in the Division of Molecular Pharmacology/Physical Biochemistry.  In 1984, she took up a position at the Max-Planck Institute in Munich as head of the Biological NMR Group. In 1988, she relocated her group to the NIH and became Chief of NIDDK’s Structural Biology Section.  Throughout her career, Dr. Gronenborn has developed NMR methodology for structure determination of biological macromolecules, and some of the first protein NMR structures submitted to the Protein Data Bank (PDB) came from her laboratory. Dr. Gronenborn is an Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, U.K., and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is a member of the Washington and New York Academies of Sciences and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2007.

Dr. Gronenborn’s extensive bibliography comprises >400 peer-reviewed publications, including structural studies on interleukins, chemokines, the human testes-determining factor SRY, the tumor suppressor protein p53, various transcription factors and enzymes, and several HIV-encoded proteins including integrase and protease. In addition to structural studies on specific macromolecules, a substantial number of publications concern methodological contributions to NMR technology and provide insight into how best to apply NMR to elucidate important problems in the biosciences. In recent years, Dr. Gronenborn has focused on extending the application of NMR to the study of larger macromolecules and their complexes and investigates the structural basis of carbohydrate recognition. In the area of HIV research, Dr. Gronenborn directs the Pittsburgh Center for HIV Protein Interactions (PCHPI).