Janet Smith Lab

We strive to illuminate biological functions at the molecular level through the discovery and analysis of three-dimensional structures of proteins.

Our Research

Form determines function in biology, even at the level of individual molecules. The understanding of biological function derived from three-dimensional structures of key proteins is one of the most stunning outcomes of the molecular revolution in biology. The overall goal of our research is to understand biological function at the molecular level by uncovering and investigating these three-dimensional structures.

Our primary methods to determine structures of proteins and protein complexes are X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy. We have contributed to the development of new methods for rapid structure determination so that knowledge of key protein structures influences the study of biological problems early rather than retrospectively.

Janet Smith, Ph.D.

Associate Institute Director, Rita Willis Professor of the Life Sciences and Center for Structural Biology Faculty Director, U-M Life Sciences Institute
Martha L. Ludwig Distinguished University Professor of Biological Chemistry, U-M Medical School
Professor of Biophysics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Publication Highlights

Structure of a modular polyketide synthase reducing region

McCullough TM, Dhar A, Akey DL, Konwerski JR, Sherman DH, Smith JL, Structure (2023)

Structural basis for antibody inhibition of flavivirus NS1-triggered endothelial dysfunction

Biering SB, Akey DL, Wong MP, Brown WC, Lo NTN, Puerta-Guardo H, Tramontini Gomes de Sousa F, Wang C, Konwerski JR, Espinosa DA, Bockhaus NJ, glasner DR, Li J, Blanc SF, Juan EY, Elledge SJ, Mina MJ, Beatty PR, Smith JL, Harris E, Science (2020)

Structure of the zinc-finger antiviral protein in complex with RNA reveals a mechanism for selective targeting of CG-rich viral sequences

Meagher JL, Takata M, Gonçalves-Carneiro D, Keane SC, Rebendenne A, Ong H, Orr V, MacDonald MR, Stuckey JA, Bieniasz PD, Smith JL, PNAS (2019)

APOBEC3H structure reveals an unusual mechanism of interaction with duplex RNA

Bohn JA, Thummar K, York A, Raymond A, Brown WC, Bieniasz PD, Hatziioannou T, Smith JL, Nat Commun. (2017)

Extended surface for membrane association in Zika virus NS1 structure

Brown WC, Akey DL, Konwerski JR, Tarrasch JT, Skiniotis G, Kuhn RJ, Smith JL, Nat Struct Mol Biol. (2016)

Structural rearrangements of a polyketide synthase module during its catalytic cycle

Whicher JR, Dutta S, Hansen DA, Hale WA, Chemler JA, Dosey AM, Narayan AR, Håkansson K, Sherman DH, Smith JL, Skiniotis G, Nature (2014)

Structure of a modular polyketide synthase

Dutta S, Whicher JR, Hansen DA, Hale WA, Chemler JA, Congdon GR, Narayan AR, Håkansson K, Sherman DH, Smith JL, Skiniotis G, Nature (2014)

Flavivirus NS1 structures reveal surfaces for associations with membranes and the immune system

Akey DL, Brown WC, Dutta S, Konwerski J, Jose J, Jurkiw TJ, DelProposto J, Ogata CM, Skiniotis G, Kuhn RJ, Smith JL, Science (2014)

Room 3378
Life Sciences Institute
Mary Sue Coleman Hall
210 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2216