Facilitating COVID-19 structural biology research

EMBL and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) restart the activities of the Joint Structural Biology Group in Grenoble to support coronavirus-related projects

Automated sample changer and diffractometer at the ID30B X-ray crystallography beamline at ESRF Grenoble.
Automated sample changer and diffractometer at the ID30B X-ray crystallography beamline at ESRF Grenoble. PHOTO: Marietta Schupp/EMBL

The Joint Structural Biology Group (JSBG) is a long-term collaboration between EMBL and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) to foster the development of structural biology methods and instrumentation in Grenoble. EMBL and the ESRF have now launched an initiative that will allow users working on COVID-19 research projects to be granted access to the High-Throughput Crystallisation (HTX) lab at EMBL and to a macromolecular crystallography (MX) beamline at the ESRF with a single project proposal. The initiative will enable a streamlined process through crystal production, testing, and data collection, using fully automated protein-to-structure pipelines, which have been established as part of the JSBG. These pipelines allow users to mail in samples and remotely perform crystallisation, crystal optimisation, fragment screening, and structure determination experiments, and will facilitate COVID-19 research involving structural biology.

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