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Unlocking the Secrets of Life Together - New Research Infrastructure for Structural Biology

It's the small things that matter in life. In structural biology these include proteins, enzymes and viruses. A single change in their molecular structure can mean the difference between function and malfunction, health and disease. On Thursday, February 23, the EU project 'Instruct' launches a new distributed research infrastructure for the science of structural biology. The launch of Instruct will give academic and commercial scientists across Europe access to a full portfolio of integrated technologies. Wolfgang Baumeister, director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) in Martinsried near Munich, Germany, is one of the members of the Instruct consortium.

Breakthroughs in biomedical science are a step closer today, with the launch of a new distributed research infrastructure for the science of structural biology. Instruct is the dynamic hub of structural biology providing an integrated infrastructure of cutting edge technology, scientific expertise and pioneering training to enable structure determination from macromolecular to atomic resolution of proteins, protein complexes and single particles. It provides access to some of the most advanced technology in the world and is funded by the European Union's 7th Framework Program. The MPIB contributes as center of European excellence in the field of electron microscopy (EM). It offers state-of-the-art infrastructure for cryo-electron tomography as well as for single particle analysis, the full periphery for sample preparation including ion beam milling and the computational analysis of EM data. A full catalogue of the accessible technology is available on the Instruct Hub at <www.structuralbiology.eu>.

Instruct will be formally launched at a signing ceremony in Brussels on Thursday, February 23, attended by the Principal Investigators of each of the Instruct Centres, the national and regional funding agencies and Robert-Jan Smits, European Commission Director-General for Research and Innovation. Prof. Dave Stuart, Instruct Director, says; "Never before have European biologists had a single point of access to all the technology and expertise they need to further their research. By bringing together the different disciplines, technologies and experts in European biology, Instruct will be helping to make the vision of truly integrated biology a reality for the first time."

Contact Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Baumeister Molecular Structural Biology Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry Am Klopferspitz 18 82152 Martinsried E-Mail: baumeist@biochem.mpg.de <www.biochem.mpg.de/baumeister>

Dr. Julia Rieder EU Office Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry Am Klopferspitz 18 82152 Martinsried Phone: +49 (0) 89 8578-2451 E-Mail: rieder@biochem.mpg.de <www.biochem.mpg.de/eu>

idw :: 27.02.2012