Practically all information about the molecular structure of matter at atomic resolution is the result of crystallographic analysis. Substantial advancements in crystallographic techniques made over the last 25 years allow individuals with quite diverse background and preparation, and sometimes little training, to use crystallography as a tool to address a specific hypothesis-driven structural problem. Ironically, as a result of methodological advances, crystallography as a science has been misunderstood in recent years, sometimes thought of as too easy or irrelevant beyond the solid state.
Crystallography continues to make major contributions to the pharmaceutical industry as part of the process of rational drug design, to the field of synthetic chemistry by facilitating synthetic processes, to materials science in relating structure to function, and to medicine by identifying on the molecular level, structural features that play key roles in disease processes. Diffraction methods analyses have contributed to our fundamental understanding of many aspects of physical and biological sciences at or near atomic resolution, and have enabled significant scientific achievements, including 25 Nobel prizes. The knowledge gained from analysis of crystallographic structures is a key underpinning of modern science and technology, and crystallography has gained importance for researchers in disciplines where it has not previously appeared. Given the opportunities for new insights at the interface with other disciplines, it is an exciting time for crystallographic science but a challenging time for crystallographic education and training.
Crystallography for Chemists (and others!) is a five-day workshop that familiarizes faculty with modern instrumentation and software commonly utilized for both small and macromolecular structure determination and analysis. This workshop discusses theory and methods, and it provides participants hands-on experience in sample preparation and mounting, structure determination, interpretation, and critical assessment of crystal structure analysis. Participants will become familiarized with crystallographic terminology commonly used in research publications, as well as commonly used crystallographic databases, and they will learn what is required to successfully undertake, complete and publish a structure determination and analysis. Proven pedagogies, superior curriculum materials and innovations in teaching crystallography utilizing cyber-based tools will be described and shared.
We have gathered a fabulous team of facilitators for our workshop, including:
Katherine Kantardjieff, Director, Keck Center for Molecular Structure, Cal Poly Pomona
Charles Campana, Bruker AXS
Eric Hnath, Director of Sales & Marketing, Life Sciences, Rigaku Americas
Joseph Ng, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama Huntsville
Eric Reinheimer, Staff Scientist, Center for Molecular Structure, Cal Poly Pomona
Bernhard Rupp, CEO, qed life science discoveries
Clyde Smith, Staff Scientist, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource
Joseph Ziller, Staff Crystallographer, Department of Chemistry, UC Irvine
Chemists, biochemists, biologists, physicists and geologists are all encouraged to apply. Space is limited, and although we would truly like to accommodate everyone, we will select participants based on their background and the quality of the personal statement. So, please provide a thoughtful narrative on why you wish to attend, what you hope to learn, and how this will help you with your research and/or teaching endeavors at your home institution.
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Image: Stribeck, Wikimedia