Results of the applications for the Erasmus Mundus scholarship have been sent on April 8th, 2019. Please check your spambox if you have not received it. 

Self-financed students can still apply until June 30th, 2019.

Master SERP+ Programme

The molecules of life: from structure to chemical function


The students will understand how the atomic structure of biological molecules is discovered and how this knowledge is applied in modern drug discovery. If interested in this subject - they may continue their careers in the drug development industry.

Auditorium lectures

  1. Principles of protein structure.
  2. Classification of protein folds.
  3. Anatomy and taxonomy of nucleic acids and macromolecular complexes.
  4. Overview of experimental methods of structural biology: cryo-EM.
  5. Principles of macromolecular crystallography.
  6. Protein handling and crystallization.
  7. Phasing methods in macromolecular crystallography.
  8. Electron density maps and model building.
  9. Protein Data Bank (PDB) and model validation.
  10. Examples of structure-based drug design.

Laboratory practicals

  • Protein handling and crystallization including robotic crystallization.
  • Protein crystal handling, cryoprotection and X-ray diffraction experiments.
  • Electron density maps and their interpretation.
  • PDB and bioinformatics tools for protein analysis.
  • An exercise in structure-guided drug design.
  • Protein model building.

Journal club

  • 5 meetings with student seminars presenting assignments from current literature with discussion.


The course will teach the students:

  1. how the atomic 3D structure of biological macromolecules, proteins, nucleic acids and their complexes, is discovered with focus on cryo-EM and X-ray crystallography, and with overview of the emerging XFEL techniques, including single-particle imaging;
  2. how the accumulated knowledge about the 3D structure of macromolecules has changed our understanding of the chemistry of the processes of life;
  3. how this knowledge is applied in the development of modern drugs.

Recommended Books

  1. Gale Rhodes, Crystallography Made Crystal Clear, 3rd edition, Academic Press, Amsterdam 2006.
  2. Bernhard Rupp, Biomolecular Crystallography, Garland Science, New York 2010.
  3. Arthur Lesk, Introduction to Protein Science, Oxford University Press 2010.
  4. Carl Branden & John Tooze, Introduction to Protein Structure, 2nd edition, Garland Publishing, New York 1996.

Teaching Staff

Prof. Mariusz Jaskolski
Dr. Szymon Krzywda


Lectures: 15h
Practical: 30h