The ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) is the leading European 3rd generation synchrotron source, providing peer-review access to more 40 experimental stations for X-ray based research in fields as diverse as magnetism, materials science, biology, medicine, geophysics and archaeology. The Structural Biology Group of the ESRF is responsible for the operation, maintenance and upgrade of the facility’s beamlines for Structural Biology which welcome more than 2,000 researchers per year. Diffraction data from the ESRF Structural Biology beamlines form the basis for >800 publications per year and, to date, has been responsible for more than 10,000 depositions in the Protein DataBank. The ESRF has provided facilities for experiments in Structural Biology since the mid-1990s. These have continuously been refurbished and upgraded and are now highly automated and also used for proprietary research, notably by companies in the pharmaceutical industry with an interest in structure-guided drug design. Here, access to data collection facilities is either via a mail-in service or via direct access. Experiments carried out on ESRF facilities for Structural Biology also played a major part in research that led to the award of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in both 2009 and 2012. As part of a major refurbishment and upgrade of its facilities for structural biology, the ESRF is in the process of developing the suit of MASSIF (Massively Automated Sample Selection Integrated Facility) beamlines. MASSIF will enable the large-scale, highly automated crystal screening, data collection and analysis that is required for high-throughput structure-guided drug design workflows. From late 2014/early 2015 the ESRF’s facilities for structural Biology will comprise 7 end-stations for macromolecular crystallography, one for BioSAXS. The ESRF also operates ID13, a beam-line where many pioneering experiments involving diffraction data collection from microcrystals of biological macromolecules have been carried out.
Click here for the website of the ESRF and see below the people involved in iNEXT: