The general theme of the research in the Bijvoet Center is elucidating how biomolecules function in the human body and in life in general and how the processes and interactions between biomolecules in living cells are affected in patients. This includes, for example, research to understand the cause and potential therapeutic approaches for a disease like cystic fibrosis, which is caused by misfolding of the protein CFTR when it is mutated due to a genetic defect. Another example is the development of so-called nanobullets, which are small antibody fragments, based on the single-chain antibodies found in llamas to target chemotherapeutics directly to cancer cells in a cancer patient. To understand such processes, we focus on the elucidation of biomolecular structures and the process of protein folding.
The Bijvoet Center consists of research groups distributed over the Departments of Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Biology of the Faculty of Science, and the Utrecht University Medical Centre.