X-Ray Methods in Structural Biology
October 15 - 30, 2018
Application Deadline: June 15, 2018


William Furey, V.A. Medical Center, Pittsburgh
Alexander McPherson, University of California, Irvine
James Pflugrath, Rigaku Americas Corporation, Texas
Anastassis Perrakis, Netherlands Cancer Institute
Paul Adams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

See the roll of honor - who's taken the course in the past

X-ray crystallography has been the cornerstone of Structural Biology for half a century. This intense laboratory/computational course focuses on the major techniques used to determine the three-dimensional structures of macromolecules. It is designed for scientists with a working knowledge of protein structure and function, and some exposure with macromolecular crystallography. Topics to be covered include basic diffraction theory, crystallization (proteins, nucleic acids, complexes and membrane proteins), synchrotron X-ray sources and optics, data collection and processing, structure solution by experimental phasing methods (SAD, MAD, MIR,and others) and molecular replacement, electron density maps improvement (solvent flattening, non-crystallographic averaging, etc.), model building and refinement, structure validation, coordinate deposition and structure presentation. In addition, the course will include an introduction to single particle cryoelectron microscopy.

Participants learn through extensive hands-on experiments in fully equipped labs, crystallize multiple proteins and determine their crystal structures by several methods while learning through extensive lectures on theory. Informal discussions behind the techniques are frequent and students will be responsible also for collecting questions to be answered in specific sessions.

Applicants should be familiar with the creation and editing of simple text files on Linux workstations using a screen based editor (e.g. vim or emacs).

Confirmed Speakers for 2018:

Dominika Borek, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Martin Caffrey, Trinity College Dublin
Bil Clemons, California Institute of Technology
James Conway, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Paul Emsley,
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UNITED KINGDOM
Gary Gilliland, 
Janssen Research and Development
Wayne Hendrickson,
Columbia University
James Holton, University of California, San Francisco
Gerard Kleywegt, European Bioinformatics Institute, UNITED KINGDOM  
Janet Newman,
Randy Read,
University of Cambridge, UNITED KINGDOM
Jane Richardson,
Duke University
David Richardson, Duke University
Clyde Smith, Stanford University
Robert Sweet, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Thomas Terwilliger, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Andrea Thorn, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UNITED KINGDOM
Dale Tronrud, Oregon State University

This course is supported with funds provided by: National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Support & Stipends

Stipends are available to offset tuition costs as follows:


US applicants (National Institute of General Medical Sciences)
Interdisciplinary Fellowships (transitioning from outside biology)  & Scholarships (transitioning from other biological disciplines) (Helmsley Charitable Trust)
International applicants (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)

Please indicate your eligibility for funding in your stipend request submitted when you apply to the course. Stipend requests do not affect selection decisions made by the instructors.

Cost (including board and lodging): $4,255

No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and are accepted into the course. Students accepted into the course should plan to arrive by early evening on October 14 and plan to depart after lunch on October 30.

Before applying, ensure you have 1) Personal statement/essay; 2) Letter(s) of recommendation; 3) Curriculum vitae/resume (optional); 4) Financial aid request (optional). More details

If you are not ready to fully apply but wish to express interest in applying, receive a reminder two weeks prior to the deadline, and tell us about your financial aid requirements, click below: