Savvides Unit - Unit for Structural Biology

Research field: Structural biology

Group leader: Prof. Dr. Savvas SAVVIDES

Tel:+32 9 33 13 660  -  Fax:+32 9 221 76 73

Research topic

We employ an integrative structural biology approach in conjunction with molecular interaction studies and cellular interrogation of the systems under study to elucidate the structural and mechanistic principles underlying the assembly, activation and pathophysiology of macromolecular complexes pivotal to inflammation, immunity, and cancer. The cornerstone of our research philosophy lies in a rigorous hypothesis-driven interrogation of the protein complexes under study, and is closely nested in collaborations with leading academic research groups in Belgium and abroad as well as industrial partners.

We currently focus on 3 main research topics:

  • Pro-inflammatory signaling complexes and antagonist design.
  • Extracellular assembly and activation principles of oncogenic receptor tyrosine kinases.
  • In vivo protein crystals in immunity, inflammation, and cancer

Area of expertise

  • Structural biology
  • Molecular biology and protein biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Structural bioinformatics

Technology transfer potential

  • Recombinant protein production
  • Biochemical and structural characterization of proteins and protein complexes
  • Biophysical characterization of protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions

Selected publications

  1. Felix J, Savvides et al. Mechanisms of immunomodulation by mammalian and viral decoy receptors: insights from structures.
    Nature Reviews Immunology, 17, 112-129, 2017.
  2. Verstraete K et al. Structure and antagonism of the receptor complex mediated by human TSLP in allergy and asthma.
    Nature Communications, 8, 14937, 2017
  3. Felix J et al. Structural basis of GM-CSF and IL-2 sequestration by the viral decoy receptor GIF.
    Nature Communications, 7, 13228, 2016
  4. Desmet et al. Structural basis of IL-23 antagonism by an Alphabody protein scaffold.
    Nature Communications, 5:5237, 2014.
  5. Verstraete K et al. Structural basis of the pro-inflammatory signaling complex mediated by TSLP.
    Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, 4: 375-382, 2014.

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