Berkeley Hosts Workshop on Automation of Synchrotron-Based Protein Crystallography: Advances Reported in all Areas


A workshop was held in early December at the Advanced Light Source at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that brought together many leading researchers in automation of protein crystallography for high throughput determination of protein structure. The topics included protein production and purification, crystallization of proteins, automation of beamlines for remote manipulation of sets of crystals, and data collection, management, and solution of structures in an integrated fashion. The speakers reported substantial advances in each area. For example, optimum conditions for crystallization of a protein now can be identified through highly automated screening systems that include continuous monitoring with cameras that feed into image databases for later analysis and identification of the best means of crystallizing a particular protein with minimal human intervention during a study. The 100 attendees came from all four Department of Energy (DOE) synchrotrons and the Photon Factory in Japan, several other DOE laboratories, universities, research institutes and companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and laboratory instrumentation fields.