UCL Division of Biosciences


Welcome to SMB


The Department of Structural and Molecular Biology (SMB) provides a stimulating and diverse research and training environment of international standing in cutting edge, modern Biochemistry.

Our broad set of skills and high-quality research allows us to approach fundamental biological and medical problems at the atomic, molecular, cellular and organism level.

This vision is enhanced via our partnership with the Department of Biological Sciences at Birkbeck College and, together, we comprise the Institute for Structural and Molecular Biology (ISMB).

A ribbon diagram of the structure of the outer membrane protein complex of a type IV secretion system. These large multi-subunits protein complexes are used by Gram-negative bacteria in a variety of processes involving a transport of proteins or DNA across the membranes. Chandran et al 2014. Nature. 462:1011-1015.


Our people and our research


Meet our researchers and staff

Our researchers ask key questions in medicine, biology and biotechnology and answer them by relating different timescales and molecular processes to cellular function and human health.

Our research is organised by five main themes and these are underpinned by the diverse backgrounds and technical excellence of our Research Leaders, and our vision of science as a highly collaborative and interactive effort.



The Department hosts a number of facilities that underlie our work in the biophysics, molecular structure, biochemistry and cell biology fields.

In addition to the Darwin Research Facility, within the Darwin Building, our researchers have access to a number of Research Facilities within the Division of Biosciences.



people who work in life sciences at ucl

Become part of SMB

Our growing and vibrant research community is always looking for the brightest minds in science - see all of our current opportunities in SMB from fellowships to scholarships to PhDs and more.

Link to Post Doc Community page.




SMB Research Themes   



Funnelback feed: https://cms-feed.ucl.ac.uk/s/search.json?collection=drupal-life-sciences...Double click the feed URL above to edit



The ISMB has a weekly seminar series with external speakers held every Wednesday during term time from 1:00pm - 2:00pm.

The 'Friday Wraps' are talks given by PhD students and early career researchers in ISMB where they present their latest work. These are held every Friday in term time at 2pm.

For details of specific events, please click on the links below.

Funnelback feed: https://cms-feed.ucl.ac.uk/s/search.json?collection=drupal-life-sciences...Double click the feed URL above to edit



Other Training and Resources

Find out more about departmental Equality, Diversity & Inclusion efforts


Find resources and support for promoting student and staff wellbeing


Find out about sustainability initiatives for labs and individuals



Contact Us

Department of Structural and Molecular Biology
Division of Biosciences
UCL Darwin Building
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT

General Enquiries tel: +44 (0)20 7679 2308, email: tabitha.owen@ucl.ac.uk
Postgraduate Enquiries email: biosciences.pgr.admin@ucl.ac.uk
Undergraduate Enquiries email: biosciences-admissions@ucl.ac.uk

The majority of our laboratories and research spaces are located in the UCL Darwin Building on Gower Street, formerly the site of 'Macaw Cottage', a residence of Charles Darwin's.

The main reception to the building is accessed via Darwin Walk, off Malet Place, entered via Torrington Road.

UCL Map for Darwin Building entrance