About MAP

Philisophy of MAP

The mission of the Molecular Anatomy Project (MAP) is to promote a structural view of biology.

The goal for MAP is to provide a wide range of users with opportunities to learn about the structure and function of biological molecules in the context of their physiological location, biological processes they participate in, and disease associations.

There are two objectives for MAP:

  • Provide a forum for experts: to present easy to read articles about figures on the structural perspectives of specific biological processes and diseases. MAP will organize these articles by organ systems, organs and tissues, molecule type and dieases (for easy browsing). The resource presents articles about various topics in health and disease attempts to interpret the biochemical, genetic, physiological, pathological and pharmacological information at a molecular structural level. Integration of all these types of information can provide a clear vision of what the molecule looks like and how it functions in normal and diseased states. This understanding may be critical in understanding diseased states involving the molecule, drug interactions and future treatment protocols.
  • Train new generations of students: so that they can understand, appreciate and communicate biology at a molecular structural level. Through courses taught by the founders of MAP and various collaborators, students (and educators) will be taught about biology at a molecular structural level. The MAP resource provides a framework where students can contribute articles about specific biological themes. Selected student-authored articles will be reviewed and published on the MAP resource, alongside expert authored articles for all users to read.

History of MAP

The motivation for this project came from discussions with users of the Protein Data Bank (PDB). The PDB is the single repository for experimentally determined 3D structural data. The large number and variety of structures available from the PDB can sometimes be overwhelming for non-expert users. The MAP resource was created in 2004-2005 to provide students, educators and general users an alternate entry into the PDB, but with some context and explanations.

MAP Based Courses

In 2006 Drs. Berman (director of RCSB PDB) and Dutta (founder of MAP) designed an undergraduate honors seminar at Rutgers University, in which they taught students structural biology but in the context of a biological theme. In the initial portion of the course students learned some fundamental of structural biology. Students were then introduced to a biological theme, following which they identified relevant structures in the PDB, explored them and presented a structural perspective of the theme in written reports (within the MAP framework) and oral presentations locally. Since 2011 faculty from institutions outside Rutgers have collaborated with the founder to teach similar courses in their home institutions.

For a complete list of MAP-based courses click here ...

How to use the MAP resource?

Read: The molecules in this resource are organized according to organ system, organ and tissue, molecule type and disease association. Browse through these classifications using the left hand menus. This will lead you to pages with brief introductions and links to articles. Each molecule in this resource is discussed with text descriptions, associated structural images and a list of references pertaining to the molecule. The resource also provides users the opportunity to learn structural details of molecules grouped by various criteria, such as molecules produced by a single source organ or molecules with the same/similar functions.

All structures described in the articles will list the PDB IDs used in the explorations, along with links to various other online databases and resources. The 3D coordinates of these structures can be accessed from the Protein Data Bank (PDB). 

Teach: If you would like to teach a course in collaborations with MAP (where your students write MAP-style articles as they learn about a specific biological theme or learn about structural biology in general, contact sdutta@rcsb.rutgers.edu.

Contribute: We are looking for experts who wish to contribute articles or are willing to review student-authored articles in specific topics related to human health and disease. Interested? Please contact sdutta@rcsb.rutgers.edu.


Questions, Comments, Report a Bug: molecularanatomy@rutgers.edu
2008 Molecular Anatomy Project