Molecule of the Month
June 2020

SARS-CoV-2 Spike

Coronavirus spike protein binds to receptors on cell surfaces, and is a target for vaccine development.


3D View:  6VXX




Health Focus: Drugs and the Brain

The brain orchestrates everything we do, sending signals through the nervous system to control different parts of our body. The brain is also the home of our thoughts and consciousness, as neurons process the input from our senses and store what they find as memories. Many drugs are available to help tune the function of the brain and nervous system when there are problems. Unfortunately, the effects of some drugs are hard to control and can lead to abuse and addiction. Explore PDB-101 Resources to learn about proteins related to our nervous system and mental health.

2020 Video Challenge for High School Students

Molecular Mechanisms of Opioid Action

Thanks to all challenge participants, expert judges, teachers, parents, and voters who made this competition happen.

Congratulations to the 2020 Winning Teams!

Winner, First Place Winner, Second Winner, Third Winner, Viewers Choice Winner, Viewers Choice

Bothell High School
Bothell, WA

Jericho High School
Jericho, NY

The Bronx High School of Science
Bronx, NY

Loomis Chaffee School
Windsor, CT

West Windsor-Plainsboro HS South
West Windsor, NJ

Learn: Materials for Exploration
PDB-101 resources and 3D structures of COVID-19 proteins.
Teach: Curricula
The RCSB PDB Curricula provide authentic, hands-on teaching materials, individual and group activities and assessment suggestions.
Education Corner: Using PDB Resources
Embedding Biomolecular Modeling in Elementary and Middle School Curriculum by Daniel Fried, Saint Peter’s University
SciArt Galleries
Irving Geis (1908-1997) was a gifted artist who helped illuminate the field of structural biology with his iconic images. The Geis Digital Archive features many of his illustrations in the context of their molecular structures.

Images used with permission from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute ( All rights reserved.

Intermolecular Contacts in Hemoglobin S





Lac Repressor




Lysozyme (512)

Lysozyme (488)

TATA-Binding Protein (TBP)

Myoglobin Fold

Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV)


Ribonuclease S

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)

Hemoglobin S



Cytochrome c (unbound)

Cytochrome c


Hemoglobin (1000)

Immunoglobulin G (IgG)

Carboxypeptidase A


Transfer Ribonucleic Acid (tRNA)

Aspartate Transcarbamoylase (ATCase)

DPG-Hemoglobin Complex

Induced Lac Repressor

The Molecular Landscapes by David S. Goodsell integrate information from structural biology, microscopy and biophysics to simulate detailed views of the molecular structure of living cells.

Illustrations are free for use under a CC-BY-4.0 license

Zika Virus

Escherichia coli

Biosites: Muscle

Measles Virus Proteins

Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses

HIV in Blood Plasma

Biosites: Basement Membrane

Coronavirus Life Cycle


Biosites: Cytoplasm


Lipid Droplets

Insulin Action

Biosites: Blood Plasma

Immunological Synapse


Biosites: Nucleus

Influenza Vaccine

Poliovirus Neutralization

Ebola Virus


Biosites: Red Blood Cell

Mycoplasma mycoides