Art and Science of the Cellular Mesoscale

David S. Goodsell, Arthur J. Olson, Stefano Forli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations


Experimental information from microscopy, structural biology, and bioinformatics may be integrated to build structural models of entire cells with molecular detail. This integrative modeling is challenging in several ways: the intrinsic complexity of biology results in models with many closely packed and heterogeneous components; the wealth of available experimental data is scattered among multiple resources and must be gathered, reconciled, and curated; and computational infrastructure is only now gaining the capability of modeling and visualizing systems of this complexity. We present recent efforts to address these challenges, both with artistic approaches to depicting the cellular mesoscale, and development and application of methods to build quantitative models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)472-483
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Biochemical Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


  • cell function
  • cell structure
  • drug design
  • drug discovery
  • integrative structural biology
  • mesoscale modeling
  • molecular function
  • molecular structure

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