South African structural biology initiative

The aim of the South African Structural Biology Initiative is to firmly establish structural biology in Africa by exploiting the synergies that exist between the three universities in the Western Cape, the U. of Cape Town (UCT), the U. of the Western Cape (UWC) and the U. of Stellenbosch. UCT and UWC will jointly offer a Master’s Degree in Structural Biology where highly regarded researchers in structural biology (X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, computational modelling and bioinformatics) will collaborate to provide a world class teaching and research environment. The development of this program is funded by a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. A unique feature of the Masters program is that students will have the opportunity of interacting with leading international experts in structural biology who will come to South Africa specifically to participate in the program. The establishment of structural biology as a formal discipline in South Africa will:

• Substantially increase local knowledge of biological structure
• Open the way to the determination of molecular structure locally
• Establish the manpower for industry based on structural knowledge, including structure based drug design.