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News from the French Crystallography Association (AFC): 2016 events

The French Crystallography Association (AFC) held elections for its council in December 2016 using an electronic vote open to all AFC members. The elected council is composed of a mixture of both new and more experienced members. In February 2017, internal elections decided the new president and vice-president. All the details are available on the AFC website at, a site that offers a dynamic presentation of crystallography news, including hot scientific results, job announcements, bursaries, PhD prizes and conference reports. Concerning the latter, the AFC participated in many events in 2016. In particular, the AFC provided financial support to the annual Structural Biology school that takes place in May on Ile d'Oléron (an island off the Atlantic coast of France) and is organized by the professional Rénafobis network. In 2016, the AFC also awarded bursaries to young researchers wishing to participate in the Pan African Conference on Crystallography - PCCr1 - organized in Cameroon. Testimonies on these events and others can be found on the AFC website (in French), as well as comments on the two main events (co-)organized by the AFC in 2016: the AFC2016 conference and the GT-Bio colloquium described below.

[Participants at AFC2016] Participants at the French Crystallography Association meeting (AFC2016).

The biennial conference, AFC2016, was held in Marseille, in the south of France, 4-7 July 2016. 260 participants enjoyed sunny weather, good science and lively discussions. A very rich programme was organized with 3 plenary conferences and 17 symposia, covering all the disciplines related to crystallography. A special session on crystal growth was dedicated to Raymond Kern, a renowned crystallographer from Marseille. Two round-tables were organized that focused on, respectively, large-scale facilities (X-rays and neutrons) and scientific edition (with the presence of Samar Hasnain, Editor-in-Chief of IUCr Journals). Three PhD prizes were awarded in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Many young scientists were present and enjoyed the conference as well as the 'Meet the experts' session. The congress was also the opportunity to hold the general assembly of the association. Overall, AFC2016 was a great success and showed the vitality of the French Crystallography community. More information on the conference is available at

[Participants at GT-Bio] Participants of the GT-Bio colloquium 2016 enjoying the sunny, but probably cooler, winter of the north-east of France.

The 10th edition of the GT-Bio colloquium (2016-2017) entitled 'Structural Biology meets Biophysics' was organized in partnership with the French Biophysics Society (SFB). It was held in Obernai, near Strasbourg, in the Alsace region (northeast of France), 13-16 December 2016. Since 1993, the GT-Bio meetings have been bringing together AFC members interested in Structural Biology. For the 10th edition, 175 participants attended 9 sessions (nucleus and nucleic acids, biophysics and modelling, new technologies, membrane biophysics, cell signalling, hot structures, drug discovery, biological systems dynamics, host-pathogen interactions) with a total of 60 talks and 6 poster sessions. The abstract booklet is available for download at A touching tribute was dedicated to Vittorio Luzzati. More information is available on the conference website at

Philippe Guionneau