Our laboratory focuses on understanding how the large molecules of living systems work. These include the fundamental building blocks of cells:proteins and DNA. The techniques we use include studying these molecules in solution (that is, after we have removed them from cells), but also after we have crystallized them. By shooting x-rays at these crystals, and measuring the properties of the diffracted x-rays, it is possible to determine the 3-dimensional structure at the resolution of individual atoms. From these structures, we then formulate hypotheses about how these molecules work.