X-ray Crystallography

The CSB has unparalleled capacity in the area of collecting x-ray diffraction data and analyzing these coordinates for three dimensional structure determination of proteins and protein drug complexes.  


X-Ray Diffraction:   This 2,116 square foot facility maintains four fully operational bays for in-house X-ray diffraction experiments. Equipment includes:

  • Two high intensity Micromax 007HF X-ray generators with the hybrid pixel array Pilatus detector and three R-axis IV++ image plate detectors
  • Crystallography Computing:  This 646 square foot computing facility provides a central computing network system for data processing, data transfer, structure determination, graphics, and database management in conjunction with all the latest software modeling programs available.  Remote access to a UAB 128-Beowulf Intel® processor-based Linux cluster allows “pipeline” approaches to be used to automate and accelerate the structure determination process.
  • D*TREK & HKL2000 are available for data processing and full crystallographic program suites like CNS and CCP4i as well as molecular graphic capabilities.

SERCAT: Since 1997, UAB has been a member of the Southeast Regional Collaborative Access Team (SERCAT) and has dedicated access to two of the most powerful beamlines at the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago. This access provides 15 or more days of dedicated access for UAB at the most powerful synchrotron facility in the U.S. By using the multiple wavelengths (only available at synchrotrons), the structure of a large protein can be determined in one week or less with suitable crystals. Frozen crystal samples can also be shipped to SER-CAT and diffraction data can be collected utilizing the SERCAT “Mail-in Crystallography” program. This program provides the critical access to the high quality synchrotron beam lines that researchers need for structural proteomics and research collaborations with other academic, not-for-profit, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology partners. It allows for single crystal X-ray Diffraction data collection with robotic crystal handling and remote data collection capability.