Education Corner

The Bound! Team from CCDC and RCSB PDB

Bound! was created by Ilaria Gimondi and Yinka Olatunji-Ojo of the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC, top row, left to right) and Brian Hudson, Chenghua Shao (middle row), Maria Voigt, and Christine Zardecki (bottom row) of RCSB PDB.

The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) are world-leading experts in structural chemistry data, software, and knowledge for materials and life sciences research and development. Their vision is to advance and promote the science of chemistry and crystallography in all its branches for the public benefit. The CCDC wants to inspire the next generation of structural scientists globally by providing educational materials to introduce young learners to the wonders of science.

The CCDC operates in a not-for-profit manner and is registered in England as Company Number 2155347. The CCDC also has charitable status as Registered Charity Number 800579 granted by the Charity Commission for England and Wales.

RCSB PDB enables breakthroughs in scientific and biomedical research and education by providing access to the large 3D structures of biological macromolecules. offers tools for searching, visualizing, and analyzing these macromolecular machines, while is an online portal for teachers, students, and the general public to promote exploration in the world of proteins and nucleic acids.  RCSB PDB team members located at Rutgers, UCSD/SDSC, and UCSF carefully biocurate PDB data, develop specialized scientific software, and create PDB-inspired educational materials.

RCSB PDB is funded by the National Science Foundation (DBI-1832184), the US Department of Energy (DE-SC0019749), and the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant R01GM133198.

Bound! is a card game for students 12 and up where players compete to match the most drugs to their protein targets. The game was created as an educational tool to introduce the concepts of drug and protein interactions and highlight some structures at the intersection of two databases; the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) and the Protein Data Bank (PDB).

Bound! Protein Target-Drug Pair

The CCDC and RCSB PDB organizations have a long history of collaboration.  In 1965, Olga Kennard began the collection of crystal structures of molecules resulting in the creation of one of the world’s first numeric scientific databases: the Cambridge Structural Database.  Just a few years later in 1971, the Protein Data Bank was established as the single worldwide archive for macromolecular structure data, at first jointly operated by Brookhaven National Laboratory and CCDC.1  

The collaboration on Bound! was inspired in part by CCDC’s Crystals Battlecards, an activity created to celebrate the International Year of the Periodic Table and crystallography.  PDB-101’s Structural Biology Playing Cards, created for PDB50 celebrations in 2021, was another muse for this project.

The Bound! card deck features 15 unique pairs of drugs and proteins with which they interact. There are six different card types that encompass three varieties of target-drug pairing: Cancer to Anticancer, Bacteria to Antibiotic, and Virus to Antiviral. The cards can be also used to play various memory games

3 types of Protein-Drug pairs

Each of the protein target cards shows one structure from the PDB, while each of the drug cards shows one structure from the CSD.  Game downloads, detailed information and 3D structural views can be found at CCDC and PDB-101.  

PDB-101 hosts detailed information about each pair, along with structure details and 3D views for the cards highlighted in the game, as well as a collection of materials exploring Drug Action.

Additional information about the featured drugs is available at CCDC.

The cards are available for download to be printed, and can also be ordered online from

RCSB PDB summer students playing Bound!

RCSB PDB summer students playing Bound!


  1. Crystallography: Protein Data Bank. Nature New Biology 233, 223 (1971).