3-Dimensional Structural Characterization

Research Summary

The independent research performed in the Structure Function group directed by Dr. Pedersen is focused on understanding the mechanisms of heparan sulfate biosynthesis, as well as how this information can be utilized to generate homogeneous heparan sulfates targeting specific biological pathways. It is the hope that this information can be utilized to develop unique and improved heparan sulfate-based therapeutics.

Dr. Pedersen is also head of the X-ray Crystallography Facility within the Structural Biology Core in the Genomic Integrity and Structural Biology Laboratory (GISBL), which provides a resource to the NIEHS community for 3-dimensional structural characterization of macromolecules using molecular biology, biochemistry and X-ray crystallographic techniques. Over the last few years, this facility has supported a number of NIEHS researchers in determining crystal structures of allergens, nuclear receptors and proteins involved in DNA repair.


Examples of several studies performed by, or in collaboration with, this group. For more information, please click the following links to individual project webpages.

  • DNA repair enzymes details the collaboration with the Kunkel Lab to study the X-family Polymerases Pol µ and Pol λ
  • Heparan Sulfate/Heparin Biosynthesis describes the structural studies being carried out on sulfotransferases involved in HS biosynthesis
  • SMCHD1 details the collaboration with the Shaw lab to study the epigenetic repressor SMCHD1