PDB User Community
50 years of community building
RCSB PDB supports an international community of users, including biologists, students and educators, media writers, illustrators, textbook authors, and the general public.

50 Years of Community Building

RCSB PDB supports an international community of users, including biologists (in fields such as structural biology, biochemistry, genetics, pharmacology); other scientists (in fields such as bioinformatics, software developers for data analysis and visualization); students and educators (all levels); media writers, illustrators, textbook authors; and the general public.

In addition to frequent contact through the RCSB PDB help desk, RCSB PDB meets with community members at in-person and virtual conferences, professional society meetings, wwPDB Task Force meetings and Workshops, and numerous collaborations.


Community Voices


Advisory Board

Recognized experts in fields, including but not limited to, structural biology, cell and molecular biology, computational biology, information technology, and education serve as advisors to the RCSB PDB.

Community Focus Interviews

From 2003-2009, the RCSB PDB quarterly newsletter hosted an interview series with various leaders in the PDB community.

These conversations included pioneers who helped shape the PDB archive, including Frances Bernstein (July 2003, PDF) who personally processed or validated most of PDB entries 15 through 9,000, and Helen M. Berman (April 2004 PDF), a co-founder of the PDB archive who led the RCSB PDB from 1999-2014 and currently serves as Director Emerita.

Other RCSB PDB members interviewed were then-UCSD Director Phil Bourne (October 2007), biocurator and trainer Shri Jain (April 2006), and Molecule of the Month creator David Goodsell (April 2003).  CARB/NIST Director Gary L. Gilliland was featured in a 2007 Education Corner.

In 2003, Helen Berman formed the Worldwide PDB (wwPDB) with Kim Henrick (then E-MSD, now PDBe; July 2004) and Haruki Nakamura (PDBj; October 2004).  Today, the wwPDB organization continues to manage the PDB archive and ensures that the PDB is freely and publicly available to the global community.  The BioMagResBank, led by John Markley (January 2005), joined the wwPDB in 2006. 


For more, explore an overview of the PDB’s history, including a timeline of highlights over the years, and suggested historical references.  Education Corners, which have been published in the newsletter since 2003, showcase how RCSB PDB community members use the PDB and related services in education.

Visit wwPDB to learn more about the wwPDB partnership, Task Forces, and Working Groups.