Structural Biology

view profile for Paul Adams

Paul Adams

Vice President for Technology andDirector of Structural Biology

view profile for Henrique Pereira

Henrique Pereira

Deputy Director, Structural Biology

view profile for Andy DeGiovanni

Andy DeGiovanni

Research Associate

view profile for Andria Rodrigues

Andria Rodrigues

Project Scientist

The Structural Biology Group uses high resolution X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy to understand the atomic structure of proteins involved in the production of biofuels and bioproducts. Atomic resolution structures, when combined with genomic and biochemical data, can provide a mechanistic understanding of enzyme activity and specificity. JBEI researchers use this information to help optimize enzymes for the production of biofuels and bioproducts, improving activity and modifying substrate specificities and product profiles.


  • Study the structure function relationships of plant lignin synthesis enzymes with the Feedstocks Division, and lignin degrading enzymes with
    the Deconstruction Division and GLBRC
  • Structural studies of Polyketides Synthases in collaboration with the Biofuels and Bioproducts Division
  • Solve crystal and cryo-EM structures of proteins involved in biomass production, deconstruction, and chemical production to generate mechanistic understanding and suggest mutations to improve activity and/or specificity

Featured Media

AI-Fueled Software Reveals Accurate Protein Structure Prediction

Study Finds ‘Missing Link’ in the Evolutionary History of Carbon-Fixing Protein Rubisco

Missing Lysine Link Could Improve Plant-Based Nutrition

Study Leads to Firmer Grasp of Biochemical “Reactive Handle”

Sewage Sludge Leads to Biofuels Breakthrough

Crystallization Screen Created by JBEI Scientists Reaches the Market

Finding Diamonds in the Rough

New crystallography finding by JBEI and GLBRC benefits bioenergy industry

 JBEI Expert José Henrique Pereira explains how X-ray crystallography is used in biofuels production

New Way to Reduce Plant Lignin Could Lead to Cheaper Biofuels

Berkeley Lab and Joint BioEnergy Institute scientists harness enzyme in effort to cut pretreatment costs


Clearing a Potential Road Block to Bisabolane

Joint BioEnergy Institute Researchers Identify Key Enzyme Structure

JBEI researchers determined the structure of the AgBIS enzyme and found it to consist of three helical domains, the first three-domain structure ever found in a synthase of sesquiterpenes. This discovery holds importance for advanced biofuels and other applications.

Featured Publications

Featured Intellectual Property