Meeting report

A protein structure course in Poland

[Poznan participants] Participants at the Determination of High-Resolution Structures for the Post-Genomic Age course in Poznan, Poland, June 2001.
A course entitled Determination of High-Resolution Structures for the Post-Genomic Age was held in Warsaw and Poznan, Poland in June 2001. The course was sponsored by the U.S. Nat’l Research Council, with funding provided by the Howard Hughes Medical Inst. Students from 11 countries of Central and Eastern Europe applied high-resolution NMR and X-ray crystallography to studies of protein structure. The curriculum was created by co-directors, X-ray Spectrometrist R.A. Byrd and X-ray Crystallographer A. Wlodawer (Nat’l Cancer Inst.). Crystallographic faculty members included M. Bochtler (Int’l Inst. of Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw), G. Bujacz (Technical U. of Lodz), Z. Dauter (NCI, USA), M. Jaskolski (Inst. of Bioorganic Chemistry, Poznan), A. McPherson (U. of California), and L. Sjolin (Chalmers Polytechnic, Sweden). For the first week in Warsaw, the students were instructed in the principles and application of NMR in structure determination. During the second week in Poznan, the students learned to use a Mar300 image-plate detector to collect diffraction data, and how to phase, trace, refine, and deposit protein structures. During the course the faculty members presented 10 public seminars on aspects of their own research, in addition to course-related lectures and classes. Many of the pre- and postdoctoral students that participated in the course will apply knowledge gained during these two weeks to various aspects of structural biology. The success of the course was possible thanks to K. Robins (Nat’l Academy of Sciences, USA), A. Stasiak (Warsaw) and J. Stepkowska (Poznan). Teaching materials created for this course are available to interested organizers of similar courses planned for the future.

Alexander Wlodawer