Instruct-ERIC Newsletter Summer 2022

20 Jul 2022

2022 is the year of the belated Instruct-ERIC Biennial Structural Biology Conference. Initially scheduled for May 2021, it was deferred by 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Instruct was delighted to be able to host its first in person event for more than two years. This is in addition to a host of events and changes that have made 2022 a busy year so far!

Latest Instruct-ERIC News

The 5th Instruct-ERIC Biennial took place in May 2022, in Utrecht, Netherlands. It brought together more than 250 delegates from across the structural biology landscape for the two-day event, featuring a huge array of expert speakers, presenting on topics including CryoEM, NMR, X-Ray crystallography, Cryo-ET, Alphafold, and much more!

The Biennial Conference also saw the latest Ivano Bertini Award Winner, Sjors Scheres of MRC Molecular Biology Lab, in Cambridge, UK. Sjors said, “I am truly honoured and grateful to receive this award by Instruct-ERIC, especially since infrastructure development for structural biology is so close to my heart.”

There have also been significant personnel changes at Instruct in 2022. Professor Harald Schwalbe of Goethe University, Frankfurt, was announced as the new Instruct Director, succeeding Professor Sir David Stuart in the role. Dr Silke Schumacher has been appointed as the new Coordinator, succeeding Dr Susan Daenke.

Instruct-ERIC Science Highlights

With contributions from both Instruct-UK and Instruct-IL, this study examined the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, specifically the mechanism by which classical immune escape occurred to give rise to the mutation.

The team from Instruct-NL explored post-translational modifications to microtubules, specifically the tyrosination cycle. They performed genetic screens to identify and understand the enzymes involved.

Project Updates

The ISIDORe project aims to provide access to services for infectious diseases research. There are currently two open calls: SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, and the Monkeypox Virus. Find out more about ISIDORe and the available Instruct services here.

The staff exchanges funded by both EU-LAC ResInfra and Instruct are well underway. Currently, Alejandro Buschiazzo of Institut Pasteur Montevideo is working at CNB-CSIC throughout 2022, and there will be two more exchanges taking place this year.

The eRImote project has officially launched! The project is coordinated by DESY, and Instruct is one of the life science research infrastructure representatives. eRImote aims to address the challenges facing remote research infrastructure access.

Instruct-ERIC Centres

The Oxford Particle Imaging Centre (OPIC) facility has announced exciting new upgrades including extensive improvements to the Krios G3i, which have served to massively increase the data collection throughput. Installation of PACETomo/SerialEM have enabled rapid data collections, and the new Alveole micropatterning device (pictured) is ideal for precise sample application to grids.

The Crystallisation core facility at BIOCEVgreatly improved its screening equipment by installation of the SONICC instrument (Formulatrix), which quickly images high throughput crystallisation plates. Also, A new quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometer from Bruker Daltonics is now installed in the Structural Mass Spectrometry core facility of CMS, providing extremely high speed and sensitivity to tackle proteomes of single cells. Find out more.

The EMBL Imaging Centre at EMBL Heidelberg has now been officially opened! It provides the global scientific community in academia and industry with access to the latest imaging technologies to enable ground-breaking research. Find out more about the imaging centre at EMBL Heidelberg here.

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