The WUSM Structural Biology Core was formed to promote use of Core Structural Biology equipment located in various labs, and to ensure that the equipment is kept operational.

VISION:The vision of the WUSM Structural Biology Core is promote growth and long term interest in structural biology.

To accomplish the vision the SBC will:

  • Provide access to stable functional structural biology resources.
  • Foster collaborations between experienced structural biology WUSM SBC Faculty/Labs and WUSM Faculty with limited, or no structural biology experience.
  • Grow SBC Membership.
  • Help strengthen proposals for extramural funding by use of SBC collaborative efforts.

WUSM SBC Members have access to in house crystallographic equipment, and SBC Members are part of the WUSM Membership to the Molecular Biology Consortium.  This gives SBC Members access to the Advanced Light Source at Berkley, Beamline 4.2.2 for synchrotron data collection.   Data can be collected either remotely from home labs, or at the beamline.  Dr. Jay Nix is the Beamline Director, and can be contacted at if you have questions about the Molecular Biology Consortium, or beamline 4.2.2.  Remote data collection is controlled with Blue Ice software to direct a Rigaku Actor Robot, to place crystals in the beam, and then set data collection parameters in the beam in ALS 4.2.2 hutch.   The current RDI_8M CMOS detector uses a shutterless data collection mode that can collect a complete data set, start to finish, in under 10 minutes.  WUSM SBC Members also have access to The SBGrid Consortium which collects, and serves the latest structural computing programs to solve structures.  All of these parts work in concert with the WUSM Structural Biology Labs to create an excellent working atmosphere in which to do Structural Biology Experiments at WUSM.

Core Description

​The core is open to all WUSM Scientists interested in Structural Biology with Service Priority to WUSM SBC Members.  Non WUSM SBC members can participate by collaborating with a WUSM SBC Member Lab. As these labs mature in their use of Core Facilities they will become more independent in their structural biology skills and will be encouraged to become a WUSM SBC Member.

The mission of the WUSM Structural Biology Core is to maintain a research infrastructure that is available to WUSM SBC Scientists by ensuring access to functional state-of-the-art equipment, and to WUSM Faculty with expertise in the field of Structural Biology.  The various WUSM Depts. and Faculty that support the SBC are involved with research that is often supported with structural information to better understand the biology at the molecular level. Structural information is often extremely useful to understanding mechanisms at the molecular level, especially when combined with other experimental methods. With the stated mission the SBC is here to help those involved in structural biology pursuits.

To accomplish the mission the SBC will:

  • Provide equipment maintenance and infrastructure support for structural biology research.
  • Provide structural biology computational (hardware and software) support.
  • Provide an interface for WUSM Researchers, Students, and Post. Doctoral Candidates seeking structural biology direction.​

Non-WUSM University Faculty interested using the WUSM SBC should contact one of the WUSM SBC Directors to inquire about Lab Availability and Lab Training.

If you are interested in Structural Biology, the following WUSM Faculty have Research Programs that involve the use of Structural Biology.  Please navigate to their Websites to learn more about their Research, and to locate an email address to contact them.  Or visit

Dr. Gaya Amarasinghe,​
Dr. Thomas Brett,
Dr. Daved Fremont,
Dr. Dennis Hallahan,
Dr. Scott Hultgren,
Dr. Weikai Li,
Dr. David Sibley, &,
Dr. Chen Shen

The above WUSM Faculty Members represent different WUSM Departments:

Pathology & Immunology,
Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics,
Molecular Microbiology & Microbial Pathogenesis,
Department of Radiation Oncology,
Cell Biology & Physiology, & Internal Medicine, and
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
SBC Directors are: Dr. Daved Fremont, and Dr. Thomas Brett


Service available to All entities, including for-profit organizations.

Priority service for Washington University only.

Additional information:

WUSM SBC is open to those interested in Structural Biology.  Before use, users must be trained and signed off on their training before allowed independent use of WUSM SBC Facilities.  Core Membership details can be obtained by contacting the SBC Directors.

Dr. Daved Fremont
Dr. Thomas Brett


  • The WUSM SBC will train users in proper use of equipment needed to carry out Structural Biology Experiments.
  • The SBC will also guide new users through the process to make crystallization grade protein and set crystallization experiments.
  • Once crystals are obtained users will be guided in the steps to determine the protein structure.
  • Once trained, users can schedule use of the SBC X-ray Lab through contact with the SBC.
  • There is one X-ray Lab Facility located in Clinical Sciences Research 7703 where users are trained in data acquisition, the use of data reduction software to process collected data, and use of programs to solve a structure.
  • WUSM SBC Members have access to a dedicated synchrotron beam line 4.2.2 in the Molecular Biology Consortium ( at Advanced Light Source at Berkley (
  • WUSM SBC Members can collect data at ALS, or can collect data remotely via computer connections from their home lab.
  • WUSM SBC Members have access to SBGRID (
  • SBGRID Consortium keeps an up to date list of all the major structural computing programs needed to solve structures.


  • The X-ray Lab Facility is located in Clinical Sciences Research Building in room 7703 and utilizes the equipment listed below:
  • Rigaku MicroMax007 X-ray generator
  • Xenocs X-ray Focussing Mirrors
  • MAR345 Image Plates
  • Oxford Cold Heads
  • Linux computers drive the x-ray instruments and access the programs needed to solve a structure
  • There are four crystal robot lab facilities:
  • Mosquito Robot in Clinical Sciences Research Building 7702
  • Mosquito Robot in South Building 2912
  • Rigaku Robot System in Clinical Sciences Research Building 7705


Pricing is subject to core verification

Membership in the WUSM Structural Biology Core is paid by a combination of Lab and Departmental Support. Non WUSM use rates are calculated based on lab spend, to recover material costs. Membership and non WUSM rates are available by contacting one of the WUSM SBC Directors.

Dr. Daved Fremont
Dr. Thomas Brett