Researchers hope to develop vaccines, therapeutics and new diagnostic tests for a broad range of diseases. To accomplish this, they will need to gain a much better understanding of a critical class of biological components. Known as surface membrane proteins, these vital ingredients in the disease process form a structurally and functionally diverse assemblage of enormous complexity.
Antibodies, (seen in green, red and orange) bind with specific membrane proteins present on the cell surface.
Credit: Graphic by Jason Drees for the Biodesign Institute.