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22nd Heart of Europe Bio-Crystallography meeting

Michael Weyand
[HEC22]
Universitätszentrum Obergurgl, venue for HEC22. Photo credit: Tiia Monto, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) Licence.

In mid-September 2019, the 22nd Heart of Europe Bio-Crystallography meeting (HEC22) with more than 110 participants from Austria, Czech Republic, Germany and Poland was held at the HEC record altitude of about 1.907 m in Obergurgl in the Ötztal valley, Austrian Alps. This familiar bio-crystallography meeting was organized by Klaus Scheffzek and co-workers from the Medical University Innsbruck. They were the superb hosts of about 22 high-level scientific student and post-doc talks, 10 company sponsor presentations and the new HEC group welcome talk by Ursula Neu (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany). On the one side, the talks covered topics from solving protein expression and crystallization problems to presenting structural breakthroughs by serial crystallography and cryo-EM. And on the other side, presentations by suppliers described not only well-established but also new crystallographic tools and equipment.

Before the social networking tours took place, ranging from guided high-mountain hiking to following James Bond “Spectre” traces, the HEC Lecture 2019 was given by Nobel Prize winner Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, showing in a very personal manner the pitfalls and highlights of the ribosome structure elucidation story. He also presented the IUCr-sponsored HEC Prize for the most outstanding scientific presentation to Eliżbieta Wator (University of Kraków, Poland) for her exceptional scientific work on substrate recognition by deoxyhypusine synthase. Although at the periphery of the European crystallographic heart, this meeting continued the more than two decade long HEC meeting tradition of an excellent platform for a common get-together of crystallographic beginners, experienced PIs and industrial suppliers.

The next HEC meeting (HEC23), organized by Clemens Steegborn from the University of Bayreuth, will take place on 24–26 September 2020 in Bad Staffelstein, Germany. More information can be found here.

4 December 2019