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Center for Biocrystallographic Research

In a discussion during Minisymposium intermission, from left: V. Cody (MFB, USA), A. Wojtczak (N. Copernicus U., Torun), and M. Jaskólski (Head, CBB). (Photo courtesy M. Jaskólski)

On June 7, 1994, the crystallographic  community in Poland celebrated the official opening of the first protein crystallography laboratory in that country and the second in Central-Eastern Europe. A facility in Budapest opened a couple of months earlier. The Center for Biocrystallographic Research (Centrum Badan Biokrystalograficznych, CBB) is affiliated with the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences in Poznan and has been created through a joint initiative of the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry and the Department of Crystallography of A. Mickiewicz University, Poznan. The center (sponsored by the Foundation for Polish Science) has a well equipped protein crystallization laboratory, an X-ray laboratory (with a Mar300 image plate detector) and several SGI workstations directly networked with the Poznan Metropolitan Supercomputer Center. Prominent Polish scientists, the President of the Foundation for Polish Science, 100 participants from all the crystallographic centers in Poland, and guests from abroad attended the opening ceremonies. During the inauguration, Zofia Kosturkiewicz outlined the history of crystallographic research in Poland and Mariusz Jaskólski, the head of the new Center, described the equipment available in CBB. The opening was followed by a symposium on Macromolecular Crystallography which covered various aspects of the field, including protein crystallization (M. Brzozowski, U. of York, UK), experimentation (C. Klein, X-ray Research GmbH, Germany; W. Minor, Purdue U., USA; Z. Dauter, EMBL, Germany),  computation (W. Wolf, Poly technical U. of Lódz, Poland; M. Jaskólski, CBB), and analysis (V. Cody, Medical Foundation of Buffalo, USA; A. J. Wilkinson, U. of York, UK). The new laboratory will be a center of integration of the structural biology community in Poland. It is open to collaborations with all who have interesting biostructural problems and seek expert crystallographic assistance to solve them.

Mariusz Jaskólski