Molecule of the Month
May 2021

Fetal Hemoglobin

Fetal hemoglobin allows a growing fetus to receive oxygen from their mother.


3D View:  1FDH




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.

2021 Video Challenge for High School Students

Molecular Mechanisms of Drugs for Mental Disorders

Entries for the Video Challenge can be submitted now until April 27, 11:59 pm PST. Award winners will be announced on May 18.

Quick Links

The Challenge | Submit | Judges | Learn | Participate

2020 Video Challenge key visual: opioid receptor with ligand in the active site
Celebrating 50 Years of Protein Data Bank
Celebrating 50 Years of Protein Data Bank

In 1971, the structural biology community established the single worldwide archive for macromolecular structure data–-the Protein Data Bank (PDB). In 2021, RCSB PDB and wwPDB are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the PDB with symposia, materials, and more.

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
Exploring the Structure-Function Relationship with Digital and Physical 3D Models of Proteins by Maria Voigt, RCSB PDB
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.

Lysozyme (488)

Myoglobin Fold


Intermolecular Contacts in Hemoglobin S




Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV)

Lac Repressor

DPG-Hemoglobin Complex


Aspartate Transcarbamoylase (ATCase)

Transfer Ribonucleic Acid (tRNA)


Immunoglobulin G (IgG)




Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)


Hemoglobin (1000)

Induced Lac Repressor


Carboxypeptidase A

Cytochrome c (unbound)

Lysozyme (512)


Ribonuclease S

TATA-Binding Protein (TBP)

Cytochrome c

Hemoglobin S

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

Measles Virus Proteins

Lipid Droplets

HIV in Blood Plasma

Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses

SARS-CoV-2 Fusion


Biosites: Cytoplasm

Biosites: Blood Plasma

Poliovirus Neutralization

Ebola Virus

Cellulose Synthase

Influenza Vaccine

Mycoplasma mycoides


Coronavirus Life Cycle


Biosites: Basement Membrane

SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine

Respiratory Droplet

Escherichia coli Bacterium


Biosites: Red Blood Cell

Immunological Synapse


Insulin Action

Escherichia coli

SARS-CoV-2 and Neutralizing Antibodies

Biosites: Nucleus

Biosites: Muscle

Zika Virus