Meeting report
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XXII Meeting of the Brazilian Crystallographic Association (ABCr) and First Regional Meeting of the Latin American Crystallographic Association (LACA)

São Paulo, Brazil, September 2015

The Twenty-Second Meeting of the Brazilian Crystallographic Association (ABCr) was held jointly with the First Regional Meeting of the Latin American Crystallographic Association (LACA) and preceded by an International Center for Powder Diffraction Data (ICDD) course on Powder Diffraction. The one-day course was held at the U. of Campinas (UNICAMP), sponsored by the ABCr, the Graduate School of Physics and the ICDD.

The course was prepared by Iris Torriani (IFGW-UNICAMP, Brazil) and Miguel Delgado and Graciela Diaz Delgado (U. of Mérida, Venezuela).

Lectures were delivered by Eduardo Granado, Carlos Manuel Giles and Martín Saleta (UNICAMP). Miguel Delgado and Graciela Diaz Delgado were responsible for the presentations related to the ICDD data bank.

Scientific program of the ABCr/LACA meeting

[Diego Lamas] Diego Lamas receives the award granted to Federico R. Napolitano (CNEA, Bariloche-Argentina) by the ICDD: 10 or more published patterns to the PDF (2014).

The ABCr/LACA Meeting was organized by a joint International and Local Committee. Three members of the ABCr Executive Council coordinated the tasks in São Paulo and Campinas (SP) and Belo Horizonte (MG).

Márcia C.A. Fantini (IF-USP) led the group, as President of ABCr and Provisional President of LACA; Iris L. Torriani (IFGW-UNICAMP), ABCr Treasurer, acted as Chair of the Meeting and Nivaldo L. Speziali (IF-UFMG), ABCr Teaching and Communications Secretary, took care of webpage contacts, publications and participant registration, with technical and logistic support from the staff of the IF-USP and members of the Executive Committee and Council of the ABCr. The support of the Brazilian Physics Society (SBF) is gratefully acknowledged by the organizers.

[Bursary recipients] Group of bursary recipients: Julian Ticona Chambi (Bolivia), Guzmán Peinado Lerena (Uruguay), David Villaman Figueroa (Chile), Gonzalo Arancibia Rojas (Chile),  Natalia Alvarez Failache (Uruguay), Debora Gonzalez Miranda (Chile), Andrea Araya Sibaja (Costa Rica) and Wilma Ticona Chambi (Bolivia).
[International participants] Latin American International Group of participants: Wilma Chambi (Bolivia), Graciela Punte (Argentina), Santiago Garcia-Granda (Spain), Diego Lamas (Argentina), Iris Torriani (Brazil), Martin Saleta (Argentina/Brazil), Graciela Delgado (Venezuela), Sebastian Klinke (Argentina), Griselda Narda (Argentina) and Alejandro Buschiazzo (Uruguay).
[Joint meeting participants] Participants at the ABCr/LACA 2015 Joint Meeting - IF-USP, São Paulo, Brazil.

More than 128 participants attended the event, approximately 77% of those registered were researchers, professors and young scientists from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Colombia, Costa Rica, México, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Participation of most of the young researchers was sponsored by the IUCr Bursary Fund.

The program included 3 keynote lectures, 18 oral communications and 3 poster sessions.

(1) Santiago Garcia-Granda (U. of Oviedo, Spain) presented the lecture A controlled pressure/temperature set-up for synchrotron in situ studies of solid-gas processes and reactions: Structural deformation of ZIF-8. He addressed the subject of porous materials and their applications in catalysis. Garcia-Granda also commented on interactions between the IUCr and crystallographic entities in Latin America. He encouraged the participants to organize meetings, schools and work-groups that promote crystallography at all levels. The number of Nobel prizes in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine and the International Year of Crystallography (IYCr2014) were also highlighted.

(2) Abel Moreno Cárcamo (U. Autónoma de México), presented the lecture The influence of electric and magnetic fields on the 3D structure of protein. He presented strategies developed for the crystallization of proteins from solutions and gels using electric and magnetic fields. The influence of the applied fields may be convenient for the observation of the processes of nucleation and growth of protein crystals. The experiments allow a choice to be made between the production of a large number of small crystals to be analyzed by powder methods or the production of single crystals for the use of conventional crystallography.

(3) Mike Zaworotko (U. of Limerick, Ireland), delivered the lecture Crystal engineering of task-specific materials. Saworotko is investigating how composition and structure affect the properties of crystalline solids and designing strategies that will produce 'functional' crystalline materials. He focused on multi-component pharmaceutical materials and ultramicroporous materials, and showed how molecular modelling together with crystal engineering can lead to the production of the proper material for a specific application.

The 95 poster presentations were in these subject areas:

  • Molecular structure and physical chemical properties - 34
  • Materials - 20
  • Polycrystals - 19
  • Complementary and other methods - 4
  • Education in crystallography - 1
  • Small molecules and biological macromolecules - 17

The complete book of Abstracts is available at www.abcristalografia.org.br/.

General Assembly of the Brazilian and the Latin American Crystallographic Associations

The General Assembly of the ABCr discussed the Statutes and By-laws of the Association and reviewed proposals from Cuba, Chile and México to host the next LACA Meeting. México's bid for 2016 was approved by the audience.

A major objective of this event was to gather researchers, young scientists, young students and interested persons of all levels and scientific areas to get acquainted with Crystallographic Research in Latin America. Every country of the Latin American Region was invited to send students and representatives. Senior scientists from several areas of crystallography, ready to promote integration and exchange of knowledge with Latin American students, were present. It is hoped that these few days of sharing ideas and results will produce new collaborations and be beneficial for the training of young researchers. There are high expectations of an increase in the sharing of large experimental installations and laboratory equipment, helping the development of competitive research in all areas of crystallography.

The participants received a certificate for their presentations. The Meeting was sponsored by the Brazilian National Agencies CAPES, CNPq and FAPESP. The IUCr financed the participation of Early Career Research Scientists (ECRSs) from Latin American Countries outside Brazil. Commercial Sponsors of the event were: Bruker, Rigaku/Dairix, PANalytical-Brasil, Nano-Temper Technologies and Instrutécnica/Xenocs, contributing with demonstrations of portable laboratory equipment and presentations of technical interest.

Among the participants at the ABCr/LACA Meeting were many research scientists of Latin-American origin who are residents abroad. Some of them have collaborative programs with researchers in Latin America. Productive collaborations between Latin American Institutions is also nurtured and enhanced by on-going research projects at the Brazilian Synchrotron Facility (CNPEM/LNLS). The new light source that is under construction will further unite the Latin American crystallographic community.

Iris Torriani