Through the study of structural biology we learn about life from the bottom up, starting at the atomic level. Drawing from research in biology, physics, chemistry, and engineering, this highly interdisciplinary field helps us to understand the fundamental mechanisms involved in the action and interaction of biological molecules. This supplement explores recent advances in structural biology to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the founding of the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Structural Biology (ICSB) at Tsinghua University. The ICSB faculty is tackling the most fundamental questions in biology, including deciphering the spliceosome, the complex protein machinery that splices RNA transcripts in preparation for translation into proteins; investigating G protein–coupled receptors, frequent targets for drugs; and characterizing γ-secretase, a protein implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. We hope you enjoy this diverse and inspiring collection of articles, with its remarkable breadth of sophisticated technologies and biological paradigms.