Meeting report

Crystallization Schools in Spain

Granada, Spain, May 2009www.iscgranada.org/, lafactoria.lec.csic.es/iscgranada

The 2nd Int’l School on Biological Crystallisation (ISBC) and the 1st Int’l School of Crystallisation: Foods, Drugs and Agrochemicals (ISC) were held under the auspices of the IUCr Commission on Crystal Growth. The Schools were aimed at students, and scientists from industry and academia, seeking fundamental knowledge of the crystallization phenomenon and the behaviour of crystallising solutions. Whereas the ISBC focused on the crystallisation of biological materials, the ISC’s centre of attention was the application of crystallisation techniques to the fields of food and drug technology and the agrochemical industry. Both schools offered hands-on demonstrations. Attendees participated in round-table discussions and daily poster sessions. There were 111 participants from 18 different countries on five continents. All students from outside Spain received some funding from the Schools.

[Practical at ISBC] Students at a practical during the Demonstration Fair at ISBC.

The ISBC focused on the fundamentals of crystallisation from solutions with applications to biology. The five days of lectures and practical demonstrations covered the crystallisation of biological macromolecules, biominerals and biomimetic materials, with a full day devoted to crystallisation of membrane proteins and large macromolecular complexes. Introductory lectures covered purification of proteins, the physicochemical properties of solutions, nucleation and light scattering theories, crystal growth techniques, handling of protein crystals, bio-mineralisation, and publication of crystallisation results. A list of the main topics and lecturers can be found at isbcgranada.org.

The ISC School encompassed lectures on both classical and novel crystallisation techniques such as gel growth, hydrothermalgrowth or crystallisation from melts, polymorphism, chiral crystallisation, crystallisation in space and the interface between drug substance and drug product. The list of teachers and the full program is available at lafactoria.lec.csic.es/iscgranada.

[ISC poster prizes] Winners of the Poster Prizes in ISC 2009

Poster sessions (35 posters in ISBC and 27 in ISC) were held each day and five poster prizes were awarded in ISBC and four in ISC. ISBC 2009 poster prize winners: IUCr Prize, Anita Hoffmann(Germany) and Bilal Qureshi (Germany); La Factoria Prize, Rafael Fernández Leiro (Spain) and Rossana García Fernández (Cuba). ISC 2009 poster prize winners: IUCr Prize, Jonathan A. Foster (UK) and Yuki Araki (Japan); La Factoria Prize, Alenka Lenart (Slovenia), Marianna Lioliou (Norway) and Tomoya Yamazaki (Japan).

The social program included a welcome cocktail on Sunday night, a tour of the Moorish palaces of The Alhambra, and a Flamenco Party in the gypsy district of Sacromonte, renowned worldwideas the epicentre of flamenco culture.

Participants received a CD containing all the lectures and demonstrations performed, including posters and pictures. We are grateful to all who worked to make the Schools successful, especially the Sponsors and Exhibitors.

Juan-Ma Garcia-Ruiz