CCP4 Study Weekend 2024:

Decision making in MX - how to be a productive structural biologist

EMCC, Nottingham, UK & Virtual

3rd – 5th January 2024

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This year the CCP4 Study Weekend will be held as a hybrid event from the 3rd – 5th January, enabling people to choose whether to attend in-person or virtually. 

The event will be run over 3 days. Day 1 will encompass the Diamond MX User Meeting followed by a discussion panel talking and engaging with the audience with the topic “Crystallography is dead. Long live Crystallography”.  The subsequent 2 days will follow the usual format with 3 sessions each day. Old favourites like “What’s New in CCP4?” and “Lunchtime Bytes” will also appear each day (see programme for more details). 

A poster session will also be taking place this year on the evening of the second day allowing students to present their research to the wider crystallographic community. 

In keeping with previous CCP4 meetings, the lectures will focus on the presentation and discussion of a variety of methods and techniques developed and used by the leaders in the field. 

This year, the topic for the Study Weekend is “Decision making in MX – how to be a productive structural biologist“.  

Highly automated pipelines are available and used in abundance within the field of macromolecular crystallography (MX), from the time a crystal has been mounted and a diffraction experiment is to be conducted, through all steps of data collection, data processing, initial structure solution and model building, ligand fitting and model completion – right down to the final analysis, validation and deposition of a model into public or internal databases. What is the current state of those pipelines? Are all stages of a typical MX experiment and its analysis automated to the same degree – or are there still bottlenecks? What happens if some steps fail: are our current tools and methods user-friendly enough to enable novice and expert users alike to obtain a reliable model even under unfavourable conditions? 

The 2024 Study Weekend will try and address these questions through discussions and presentations by experts that should highlight the benefits that a combination and cooperation of fully automated pipelines with manual interventions and fine-tuning can provide – both for the users and for the quality and reliability of the final models. 

Sessions will cover: 

Day 1 

Diamond MX User Meeting 

Session 1: 

Key note talk 

Discussion panel 

Day 2 

Session 2: Preparation and data collection: Planning and execution of diffraction experiment 

Session 3: Structure Solution & Model Building (post-AlphaFold) 

Session 4: The important final touches: Modelling Subtle / Difficult Structural Features 

Day 3 

Session 5: Weak Signal / Large Datasets: Partial Data and Partial Occupancies  

Session 6: Experimental Interactions: Ligands, everywhere, all at once 

Session 7: Structural Analysis: Climbing the data mountain 

Speakers (to be updated as confirmed) 


Scientific Organisers: 

Helen Ginn (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron, DESY) 

Nick Pearce (Linköping University, Sweden) 

Clemens Vonrhein (Global Phasing Ltd)