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1biochem.wustl.eduSpring 2013Moving Forward: Membrane-Protein Research Cells are composed of a complex collection of proteins, nucleic acids and small metabolites. Cells use these molecules to carry out their individual functions, as well as to grow and divide. An important goal for biomedical research is to understand how these various components give rise to and control the biological processes that define a living cell. Biochemistry and molecular biophysics are focused on understanding the interactions among these different components at the molecular and atomic level. Our research defines the driving forces that energize biological processes and the rates and mechanisms by which the processes occur. One exciting current area of research is understanding how proteins embedded in membranes work. Membrane-protein research has lagged behind research on soluble proteins due to the added complexity of protein-lipid interactions and the need to maintain a membrane-like environment to reta...