Workshop on “Advances in Protein Crystallization” and 2nd P-CUBE User Meeting
Zurich, 5-9 Sept 2011, P-CUBE event
Organisers: Markus Grütter (University of Zurich, CH), Jutta Tatzel (University of Zurich, CH) and Petra Lindemann (EMBL Heidelberg, DE)
Approximately 40 scientists including P-CUBE partners as well as former and prospective users attended the 2nd P-CUBE User Meeting, which took place on 4 Sept 2011 at the University Zurich.
The meeting started with a warm welcome and introduction by the coordinator, Markus Grütter, who also introduced the Keynote Speaker Nenad Ban from the ETH Zurich. He gave a captivating talk about very detailed structural studies of the ribosome in protein synthesis.
The platform operators presented their scientific services including the latest technological developments of their platforms to inform prospective P-CUBE users about the Transnational Access opportunities of the project.
In addition, they gave some insight into a large range of successful user projects that had already been performed at the different platforms.
Importantly, a number of former users were given the chance to present their exciting research projects and could report on their experiences in using the platforms. The user presentations showed the broad range of different projects that are supported by the PCUBE project, but also nicely demonstrated the high quality of the supported research. Oral presentations were complemented with an interesting poster session.
Following the P-CUBE user meeting, a 4-day hands-on workshop on “Advances in Protein Crystallization” was held from 5-9 Sept 2011. Students, postdocs and experienced scientists from 10 different countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK) participated in the successful event.
During the course, apart from the excellent lectures, all the participants had the opportunity to closely interact with the tutors (Markus Grütter (University of Zurich), Andreas Plückthun (University of Zurich), Serge Chesnov (UZH/ETH Zurich), Jose A. Marquez (EMBL Grenoble), Patrick Shaw Stewart (Douglas Instruments Ltd), Mareike Kurz (University of Zurich), Beat Blattmann (University of Zurich) and others) and received hands-on training in advanced protein crystallization technologies.
Topics demonstrated during the course included:
- Biophysical/biochemical characterization of biological macromolecules for structural studies
- Polishing steps to optimize sample quality
- Crystallization of biological macromolecules (Effects of macromolecular solution properties, nucleation and growth, screening strategies, crystallization methods)
- Strategies and special approaches to grow crystals (Counter diffusion, seeding, crystal evaluation)
The course participants particularly appreciated the opportunity to bring their own samples, the practical experience in the lab, the excellent supervision by the instructors and the great atmosphere amongst the attendees.
Presentations from the P-CUBE user meeting as well as the crystallization workshop are available for registered users only.