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Students in Uruguay Collect Protein Crystallography Data at the ALS Print


The Institut Pasteur de Montevideo (IPM) in Uruguay introduced students to remote protein crystallography data collection with the help of Peter Zwart at Beamline 5.0.2. A two-week, international workshop on macromolecular crystallography (MX) and its applications instructed 20 PhD students, postdocs and research assistants on the complete MX process.

The primary course instructor, Alejandro Buschiazzo, says that the course “fulfills the need to train young scientists in Latin America, and is expected to foster collaborative, inter-institutional academic programs.” The remote MX data collection done on Beamline 5.0.2 on April 30 and May 1 contributed greatly to this aim, allowing students to send their own samples in beforehand, and see how data is collected and processed.

Data collection lasted two days, collecting data on 67 crystals. During this activity, two open sessions with the students using IPM’s informatics room enabled them to look, in real time, at how remote data collection works. “Everything went pretty well!” Buschiazzo says. “Students learned quite a lot, and we actually collected useful data that is now being processed.”

14 speakers, hands on wet lab time, and informatics instruction all contributed toward teaching students how to solve the 3D structure of a protein from crystallizing a protein and experimental setup, to collecting and processing x-ray diffraction data, to using refinement and structure validation programs to properly fit and analyze atomic models.

Posters, discussion sessions, and paper reading sessions boosted student teacher interactions. Speakers also stay at the same hotel as students for either all or part of the course. The only activity that was held remotely was the data collection sessions at the ALS.


You can find more information about the Macromolecular Crystallography: Introductions and Applications Workshop on their website.


Shauna B. Kanel



ALSNews Vol. 309