Biocrystallography Workshop in Białystok

Białystok, Poland, July 2014

[Bialystok participants] Group photo of the Workshop participants. (Photo courtesy S. Wojtulewski)

A workshop entitled 'Biocrystallography for the High-throughput Era' was held in July 2014, at the U. of Białystok, Poland. The program included lectures on such aspects of macromolecular crystallography as: crystallographic fundamentals (M. Jaskolski, Poland); the future of structural biology (W. Minor, USA); molecular replacement (H. Fernandes, Poland); anomalous phasing (Z. Dauter, USA); macromolecular refinement (M. Gilski, Poland); Bayesian reasoning and structure validation (B. Rupp, USA) ; protein cloning and purification (R. Jedrzejczak, USA); protein crystallization (K. Brzezinski, Poland); and bioinformatics (B. Nocek, USA).

Most of the lecturers also taught tutorial sessions, during which the students gained hands-on experience in bioinformatics aspects of crystallographic studies, HT protein expression, purification and crystallization, efficient X-ray data collection and processing, phasing, model refinement, and validation. The focus was on high output rather than throughput. The 24 pre- and postdoctoral students from four countries found the workshop highly successful and they appreciated gaining practical experience, often using their own projects. With the help of the experts, several participants were able to crystallize their proteins, process their data and solve difficult structures. The success stories contributed to a high level of satisfaction among the participants. The best posters were presented by J. Loch (1st prize) and M. Wierzbicki (2nd prize), they were awarded with a copy of the 'Biomolecular Crystallography' handbook by B. Rupp. The principal organizer, K. Brzezinski, is to be applauded for planning and implementing a remarkably productive workshop.

Mariusz Jaskolski