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Molecular Architecture of Life

How does life originate and what are the processes that make it possible?

Molecular Architecture of Life

Overview

What is life? How did it originate? What keeps it going? These questions have puzzled humans for thousands of years. With new technology and a unique interdisciplinary approach, the Molecular Architecture of Life program is finding answers.

Until recently, we could only understand the processes of life by looking at static pictures of its building blocks. But life is dynamic, and processes are in constant states of change. Now we have tools such as ultrafast imaging that can record molecules in motion and give scientists the ability to observe living systems at a level that was previously unknown.

Understanding levels of biological function across vastly different lengths and timescales — from the movement of a single atom in a quadrillionth of a second to the much slower processes of cell growth and regulation – is giving researchers in this program new insights into the processes of life.

rhodopsin.complex

Structural biology and spectroscopic work by Eric Xu (Van Andel Institute, USA), program Co-Director Oliver Ernst, and others using femtosecond X-ray free electron laser and EPR spectroscopy revelead the overall architecture of the rhodopsin–arrestin assembly, which is important in the function of vision (Kang et al., 2015).


Founded in : 2014


Members : 15


Supporters :
Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life


Disciplines :
Biophysics; biochemistry and molecular biology; structural biology; genetics; neuroscience; basic medicine, including pathology, pharmacology and toxicology; analytic and organic chemistry; optics


Contact: Daniel Bacinello

Fellows & Advisors

Program Directors

Bio Outline
Oliver Ernst
Program Co-Director

Oliver Ernst researches the receptors used in human nerve cell communication to send signals across membranes, and control many functions, including vision, memory, and learning.

Dwayne Miller
R.J. Dwayne Miller
Program Co-Director

Dwayne Miller has been widely recognized for his work in spectroscopy and the development of new electron sources for ultrafast laser technology.

Fellows

Bio Outline

Wolfgang Baumeister

  • Fellow
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
  • Germany
Michel Bouvier

Michel Bouvier

  • Fellow
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • Université de Montréal
  • Canada
DANIEL FIGEYS

Daniel Figeys

  • Fellow
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • University of Ottawa
  • Canada
SIHYUN HAM

Sihyun Ham

  • Fellow
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • Sookmyung Women's University
  • South Korea
Lewis Kay

Lewis Kay

  • Fellow
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • University of Toronto
  • Canada
Ming Lei

Ming Lei

  • Fellow
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • China
Rachel Martin

Rachel W. Martin

  • Fellow
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • University of California Irvine
  • United States
Krzystof Palczewski

Krzysztof Palczewski

  • Fellow
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • United States
CarolRobinson

Dame Carol Robinson

  • Fellow
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • University of Oxford
  • United Kingdom
John Vederas

John Vederas

  • Fellow
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • University of Alberta
  • Canada
Paul Wiseman

Paul Wiseman

  • Fellow
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • McGill University
  • Canada

Advisors

Bio Outline

Robert H. Austin

  • Advisor
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • Princeton University
  • United States
Bio Outline

Brian Kobilka

  • Advisor
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • Stanford University
  • United States
Lois Pollack

Lois Pollack

  • Advisor
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • Cornell University
  • United States
David Stuart

David Stuart

  • Advisory Committee Chair
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • Oxford University
  • United Kingdom

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars

Khanh Huy Bui

Khanh Huy Bui

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017-2019
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • McGill University
  • Canada
Jean-Philippe Julien-BW

Jean-Philippe Julien

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019-2021
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • Hospital for Sick Children
  • Canada
Mikko Taipale

Mikko Taipale

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016-2018
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • University of Toronto
  • Canada
Yue Wa

Yue Wan

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018-2020
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • Genome Institute of Singapore
  • Singapore
Hyun Youk

Hyun Youk

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018-2020
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • Delft University of Technology
  • The Netherlands
Jennifer Zenker-BW

Jennifer Zenker

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019-2021
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • Monash University
  • Australia
Wei Zhang-BW

Wei Zhang

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019-2021
  • Molecular Architecture of Life
  • University of Guelph
  • Canada