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An integrated X-ray data collection system

Steven C. Almo

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National Institutes of Health (NIH)
In 1999 the Albert Einstein College of Medicine successfully competed for a Shared Instrumentation Grant entitled "Integrated X-ray Image Plate Detector System" (1S10RR013658-01; Almo, PI). This system has been in continuous use and supported an enormously broad and productive structural biology community for the past ~14 years. The Albert Einstein College of Medicine is now requesting funds to purchase a state-of-the-art X-ray data collection system, including a MicroMax"-007 HF rotating anode generator, a VariMax" optic, AFC11 4-axis goniometer, Dectris Pilatus P200K detector, Oxford Cryosystems Cryostream and associated peripherals. This instrumentation fills four critical needs: 1) our existing equipment has aged to the point that service and replacement parts can no longer be guaranteed; 2) the need for enhanced in-house data collection capabilities to support the numerous structural biology programs at the College; 3) the need to identify alternative data collection opportunities due to the imminent closure of the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), which is the major data collection venue for the entire structural biology community at the College; and 4) the need to meet the growing institutional educational mission. The considerable flux of the MicroMax"-007 coupled with the photon counting capabilities of the Pilatus P200K detector results in data collection rates that are two orders of magnitude greater than those afforded by our existing system. This enhancement provides new opportunities for in-house data collection that will significantly impact the efficiency and rate at which the many structural biology programs are prosecuted at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. These capabilities will benefit the research programs of 24 laboratories in 10 departments (Einstein Biochemistry, Anatomy & Structural Biology, Physiology & Biophysics, Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology, and Neuroscience; 4 departments at nearby institutes) at 5 New York area institutions (Einstein, Brooklyn CUNY, Rockefeller, Hofstra, and Brookhaven National Laboratory). These programs span a wide range of cutting-edge biomedical areas, including human immunity, cancer, autoimmunity, infectious disease, macromolecular assembly, function and regulation, transition state analysis, drug discovery, RNA biology, epigenetics, functional annotation, environmental science and systems biology. The requested X-ray data collection system will have broad scientific impact and is essential for the continued vigor and development of structural biology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and neighboring institutions.

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