X-Ray Methods in Structural Biology
October 16 - 31, 2017
Application Deadline: June 15, 2017


William Furey, V.A. Medical Center, Pittsburgh
Gary Gilliland, Janssen Research & Development LLC
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, but who are new to 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 for the first time extend to the theory and computation for small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and 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).

Speakers in 2016 include:

Paul Adams, University of California, Berkeley
Dominika Borek, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Martin Caffrey, Trinity College Dublin
James Conway, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Paul Emsley, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UNITED KINGDOM
Wayne Hendrickson, Columbia University
James Holton, University of California, San Francisco
Gerard Kleywegt, European Bioinformatics Institute, UNITED KINGDOM Randy Read, University of Cambridge, UNITED KINGDOM
Jane Richardson, Duke University
David Richardson, Duke University
Sjors Scheres, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UNITED KINGDOM
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): $4,165

This button links to a short form which confirms your interest in the course. 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 15 and plan to depart after lunch on October 31.