In addition, the department has joined a collaborative access team (SER-CAT) at the Advanced Photon Source in Argonne, IL, to guarantee regular synchrotron access to local crystallographers when the absolute highest resolution possible is needed, only extremely small crystals are available, or MAD phasing experiments are needed.
Within the main X-ray crystallography suite are located three additional labs, devoted to crystallization and computational analysis. One room is devoted to crystallization and contains a HoneyBee 7+1 robotic system from Genomic Solutions for automatic preparation of crystallization screening trays, allowing for crystallization setups using 100 nL volume per drop, significantly reducing the mount of material needed for crystal screening. There are two Minstrel I systems, one at room temperature for automatic and unattended imaging of sample in the trays, and a computer system for controlling/viewing images from a second Minstrel I system remotely located in the crystallization cold room. A second room serves as a microscopy room, for crystal mounting and monitoring of crystallization set-ups and contains multiple Olympus SZX12, SZX7, and SZ-61 microscopes, with the high-end microscopes equipped with high-resolution cameras and interfaced with LCD monitors and workstations for image capturing and recording. A third room is a computational room, containing multiple workstations, with stereo graphics capabilities to facilitate rapid analysis on incoming data.
Collectively, the X-ray crystallography facility and its resources provide everything needed to carry out cutting edge, atomic resolution X-ray crystallographic analysis of macromolecules. Professor Joanne I. Yeh serves as the Director of the X-ray facility and Professor William Furey as the co-director.