X-Ray Methods in Structural Biology
October 15 - 30, 2019
Application Deadline: June 15, 2019


Janet Newman, CSIRO, Australia
James Pflugrath, Rigaku Americas Corporation (ret.), 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, and remains the technique of choice for atomic resolution understanding of macromolecules and for structure guided drug discovery. This intense course combines laboratory and computational instruction to train course participants in the major techniques used to determine three-dimensional structures. It is designed for scientists with a working knowledge of protein structure and function, but who are new to macromolecular crystallography or who wish to increase their in-depth knowledge of 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
  • Model building and refinement
  • Structure validation
  • Coordinate deposition
  • Structure presentation

Participants have extensive hands-on training in well-equipped labs in how to crystallize multiple proteins and determine their crystal structures by several methods, while learning through lectures on theory and methods. Both basic and advanced subjects are covered during lectures, which are given by leaders in the field. Informal discussions behind the techniques are frequent and students are expected to pose questions to be answered in interactive sessions.

Applicants should be familiar with the creation and editing of simple text files on Linux workstations.

2019 Confirmed Speakers: 

Dominika Borek, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Martin Caffrey, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
James Conway, University of Pittsburgh
Paul Emsley, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, United Kingdom
William Furey, University of Pittsburgh 
Gary Gilliland, Janssen Research & Development, LLC
Wayne Hendrickson, Columbia University
James Holton, University of California, San Francisco
Gerard Kleywegt European Bioinformatics Institute, United Kingdom
Alex McPherson, UC Irvine
Nicholas Noinaj, Purdue University 
Randy Read,
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Jane Richardson, Duke University
Clyde Smith, Stanford University
Thomas Terwilliger, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Andrea Thorn, University of Hamburg, Germany
Christopher Williams, Duke University

Support & Stipends

We would like to acknowledge the following companies that provided invaluable support:

Avidien Technologies, TTP LabTech, Inc.
Donations: Avidien Technologies, Hampton Research, MiTeGen, Polyvalan, TTP LabTech, Inc., Thaumatin Natex

Stipends are available to offset tuition costs as follows:


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): $4,345

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: