? STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY FACILITY The Structural Biology Facility provides a full service resource for investigators requiring high resolution structures, including: a) resources required for crystallographic structure determination, including refinement and analysis, b) resources required for structural studies by cryoelectron microscopy (cryoEM), including single particle reconstruction and tomography, c) molecular graphics and computational support for all aspects of structural biology investigations, d) molecular graphics and computational support for structure-based drug discovery, and e) structure determination and data collection both by x-ray crystallography and cryoEM. The Facility is essential for the research programs of investigators of the Lurie Cancer Center who are studying the relationship between macromolecular structure and function, or who are using macromolecular structure as the starting point for structure-based drug design. It is a unique resource at Northwestern University that capitalizes on proximal access to the synchrotron radiation X-ray source at Argonne National Laboratory, access to state- of-the-art electron microscopes at Northwestern, and highly experienced personnel that both assist users and provide full structure determination services. The Structural Biology Facility is located on both campuses of Northwestern University. Dr. Alfonso Mondragn, a structural biologist based on the Evanston Campus, directs the Facility and works closely with Dr. Valerie Tokars, the Operations Director of the Facility. The Facility consists of five major components: 1) an outstation at the Advanced Photon Source that is devoted to state-of-the-art macromolecular crystallography, 2) two modern electron microscopes located on the Evanston campus, 3) automated facilities for setting up and visualizing crystallization experiments, 4) a complete suite of equipment for sample preparation for electron microscopy, and 5) computational facilities to support structural biology studies, including NMR, crystallography, electron microscopy, computational drug-design, simulations, modeling, and advanced graphical visualization and manipulation of models. The distributed nature of the facility reflects the extent to which data collection, computational, molecular visualization, and other scientific resources are networked, and thus integrated, for the structural biology research community at Northwestern. The Facility is continuously adapting to evolving needs of the LCC. During the last two years, it has expanded significantly by incorporating cryoEM as part of the resources available through the Facility. It has also continued to upgrade its computational infrastructure to serve the growing requirements of the structural biology community. The Facility plans to continue to grow and expand by incorporating new techniques and approaches, upgrading and modernizing the existing equipment, and incorporating new groups into its expanding user base.

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National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1)
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Northwestern University at Chicago
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