An international team led by Shimon Weiss, the Dean M. Willard Professor of Chemistry, has been awarded a Human Frontier Science Program research grant of $1.2 million over three years. The program supports research on the complex mechanisms of living organisms, and is funding only the top 4 percent of grant applicants.

The research project’s focus is to solve the three-dimensional structure of macromolecules and produce three-dimensional structural movies of macromolecules in action while they perform their biological functions. Conventional structural tools provide only snapshots and not the full movie, he said.

Weiss is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the UCLA College, a professor of physiology in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute. He is one of the world’s leading chemists in the use of single-molecule techniques, especially in the study of biological molecules, and has developed instrumentation and methodologies to study single biomolecules.

“This multidisciplinary project will result in a new generic toolkit applicable to a large array of enzymes, proteins and molecular machines,” Weiss said.