Structural Molecular Biology

Illuminating Biological Structures at the Atomic and Molecular Levels

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Macromolecular Crystallography


The SMB macromolecular crystallography (MC) program is a major experimental driver for structural biology research, serving the needs of a large number of academic and biotech groups working in this area, particularly in the Western U.S, developing, providing and supporting cutting-edge technologies for a wide-range of user applications.

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Small Angle X-ray Scattering


X-ray scattering from partially ordered arrays of biomolecules typically provides low-resolution (≥ 7-10 Å) structural information under biologically relevant conditions. Studies are relatively fast, require small quantities of material and are well-suited for time resolved measurements. Applications range from conformational change to folding intermediate studies.

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X-ray Spectroscopy & Imaging


Metal ions have key roles in biological structure and function - from being active sites of many enzymes to having roles in signaling pathways and being key elements of cancer chemotherapies and disease-related biological malfunctions. Synchrotron x-ray spectroscopies are a key tool in determining the geometric and electronic structure of metal centers.

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Upcoming Events

SSRL will conduct a Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering with Hard X-rays workshop between February 20 and February 22. The three-day session will include lectures and tutorials on hard X-ray RIXS with focus on experimental details and in-depth data analysis and interpretation methods using both experimental fingerprints and detailed theoretical descriptions. Examples will be highlighted in various scientific fields.
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RapiData 2019 will be held at SSRL between May 5 and May 10. The six-day comprehensive session will provide a practical course in macromolecular X-ray diffraction data collection, data processing and structure solution. A strong focus of this course is to educate and train young scientists in data collection and processing methods at synchrotron beamlines, using state-of-the-art software and instrumentation.
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New Multi-Technique Proposals (Pilot)

A new Multi-Technique Proposal mechanism has been created for projects that require the use of two or more scientific techniques available at SSRL (both x-ray and electron based). The pilot proposal mechanism will initially cover Small Angle X-ray Scattering, Macromolecular Crystallography and Cryo-Electron Microscopy. A goal is to expand the mechanism in its permanent phase to include additional techniques available at LCLS and spectroscopy and imaging methods at SSRL.

The new pilot proposals will require a thorough justification for the requirement of using two or more techniques. The proposals will be reviewed by an ad hoc Proposal Review Panel comprised of members from the SSRL SMB and Cryo-EM PRPs. The new proposal template will be available June 1 and the first deadline for submission will be July 1.

New Proposals & Extension Requests - Due Dates

Run Period X-Ray/VUV Macromolecular Crystallography
Quarter 1 May 1 April 1
Quarter 2 August 1 July 1
Quarter 3 November 1 December 1

Beam Time Requests - Due Dates

Run Period X-Ray/VUV Macromolecular Crystallography
Quarter 1 August 1 Augut 29
Quarter 2 November 1 January 14
Quarter 3 February 1 April 18