Our group applies crystallographic and solution NMR techniques to investigate macromolecular-mediated recognition, regulation, and catalysis. The major thrust of the laboratory is currently in the structural biology of RNA silencing and epigenetic regulation (histone and DNA methylation marks). Significant efforts are also under way toward a molecular understanding of RNA-mediated events involving riboswitches and ribozymes, as well as protein-RNA recognition events impacting on disease syndromes. A new project addvesses structure-function studies of cytoplasmic metazoan nucleic acid sensors and their cyclic dinucleotide second messengers that activate the innate immune response. Other projects include higher-order DNA architectures and the DNA damage. Finally, our group also studies the molecular basis of glycosphingolipid and phospholipid binding specificity.
Laboratory Personnel and Resources
The Patel laboratory occupies more than 2,000 square feet of contiguous space located on a floor dedicated to structural biology within a modern facility.
The Patel group has in-house access to its own Rigaku system with x-ray generator and two sets of optics, area detectors, and cooling assemblies. Members of the Patel group use beamlines at the Brookhaven and Advance Photon Source Synchrotrons. The crystallography groups at Memorial Sloan Kettering, as part of the Northeast Crystallography Consortium, also have access on a time-share basis to the NE-CAT insertion device beamlines, one of which has microfocus capabilities, at the Advanced Photon Source.
The Patel group has access in-house to four Varian 600 MHz Inova NMR spectrometers. The NMR groups at Memorial Sloan Kettering, as part of the New York Structure Center, have access to a cluster of Bruker Avance NMR spectrometers, of which there is one each at 500, 600 and 700 MHz, as well as three at 800 MHz and two at 900 MHz, all equipped with cryoprobes.