Positions open at BioCAT

BioCAT is seeking a Ph.D. level scientist to lead the solution small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) user program. This beamline scientist will have primary responsibility for supporting SAXS users at the beamline, and maintaining the state-of-the-art sample preparation and sample delivery and characterization equipment. They will also collaborate scientifically with users and other beamline staff.

The full job description is here: BioCAT SAXS beamline scientist job ad

Additionally, BioCAT is looking to hire an experienced masters level technician to assist with the SAXS program. The full job description is here: BioCAT technician job ad

Please contact Jesse Hopkins if you have any questions about the positions.

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MuscleX 2 Workshop Wrap-Up

BioCAT held its second MuscleX workshop May 20-May 21. This took the form of a two-day virtual symposium with 200 registrants and 149 attendees. The goal was to explore and celebrate the current state of muscle research using synchrotron radiation with 11 speakers from all over the world. There were lively discussions between the speakers and attendees in breakout rooms. Videos of most lectures will be made available on the BioCAT YouTube channel once editing is finished.
Participants and speakers at the MuscleX 2 Workshop.

BioCAT held its second MuscleX workshop course from 5/20/21-5/21/21. There were 149 remote participants and 11 speakers, consisting of 3 senior, 4 mid-career, 4 junior level researchers. The workshop was held entirely online, via BlueJeans, with a series of talk followed by general discussions in break-out sessions. The first day started with an introduction to BioCAT by Tom Irving followed by a comprehensive review of the muscle diffraction program at the BioCAT Beamline 18ID by Weikang Ma. The next talk was by Elisabetta Brunello (King’s College London) who described her studies, done at the ESRF in France, of myosin-based regulation mechanisms in rat cardiac muscle, showing among other things important …

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Everything BioSAXS 7 Workshop Wrap-Up

BioCAT held its seventh intensive HOW-TO course in BioSAXS from 3/29/21-4/1/21 with 21 remote participants. There were four days of lectures and hands-on software tutorials on the basics of BioSAXS data collection and processing from expert practitioners in the field. Participants could elect to mail in samples for data collection prior to the course, and roughly half of them sent research samples and were able to analyze their own data as part of the workshop.
Participants and instructors at the Everything BioSAXS 7 Workshop.

BioCAT held its seventh BioSAXS training course from 3/29/21-4/1/21. There were 21 remote participants and 6 instructors. The workshop was held entirely online, via BlueJeans, for ~4 hours each day. Before the workshop started, participants were able to mail samples to BioCAT for SAXS data collection. This data was then sent to them, and they were able to analyze it as part of the workshop.

Day one started off with an excellent overview of the basic physics of SAXS and what kind of information you can obtain from the technique by Dr. Richard Gillilan (BioSAXS beamline, CHESS). This was followed by a talk from Dr. Jesse Hopkins …

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Wayne State U. Grant to Support Heart Muscle Study at BioCAT

After the left ventricle of the heart contracts, it must relax efficiently to prepare to refill and supply the body with blood on the next beat. An increasing number of patients — including nearly all patients with heart failure — suffer from impaired relaxation, which is part of a clinical syndrome known as diastolic dysfunction. Currently, treatments for impaired relaxation do not exist.

A team of Wayne State University School of Medicine researchers led by Charles Chung, Ph.D., assistant professor of physiology, recently received a $1,894,271 grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to address the critical need for new drug targets and diagnostic indexes for diastolic dysfunction using novel biomechanical tests that ultimately can be translated into clinical practice.

According to Chung, the project was inspired by his research team’s finding that how quickly the heart’s muscle moves is directly related to how fast the muscle can relax. The project will use unique experiments and imaging techniques to link mechanical properties of the heart with models of heart failure that occur in patients.

“My lab’s main research focus is to understand how the heart muscle moves at …

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Register for MuscleX 2: Muscle diffraction and scattering

BioCAT is offering its second MuscleX workshop. The Biophysics Collaborative Access Team (BioCAT) is funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) with its mission to operate state-of-the-art x-ray facilities for the study of the structure and dynamics of biological systems under non-crystalline conditions similar to their functional states in living tissues. We will have a series of introductory presentations of the scientific missions supported at BioCAT as well as a series of talks highlighting recent muscle studies using x-ray diffraction and scattering.

The workshop will take place from 5/20/21 to 5/21/21 and is entirely virtual (via BlueJeans). See the schedule below for details.

Registration

All participants this year will be remote participants. There is no cost associated with the workshop, but registration is required for administrative purposes.

How to register

Registration is CLOSED

More information

Workshop topics:

  • Introduction to BioCAT
  • Introduction to muscle x-ray diffraction capabilities at BioCAT
  • Introduction of solution small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) and its application to muscular proteins
  • Science highlights from recent muscle studies using x-ray diffraction and scattering

If you have questions, please contact Weikang Ma (wma6@iit.edu).

Confirmed speakers:

  • Thomas Irving (BioCAT, APS)
  • Weikang Ma (BioCAT, APS)
  • Srinivas Chakravarthy …
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BioCAT awarded new 5 year $8.6 million P30 grant

A team of researchers led by Prof. Thomas Irving (Illinois Institute of Technology) has received a $8.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue to operate the Biophysics Collaborative Access Team (BioCAT) facility at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory for the next 5 years. The facility provides access to the most intense X-ray beams in the Western Hemisphere for the study of non-crystalline biological materials such as muscle, connective tissue, amyloids, viruses, proteins, and other large biological molecules and their complexes, in order to understand the structural underpinnings of human maladies such as heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s. Several COVID 19 projects have been hosted since the pandemic began. The other members of the scientific staff at BioCAT who co-wrote the proposal are beamline scientists Weikang Ma, Srinivas Chakravarthy and Jesse Hopkins.

The new grant is a NIGMS P30 grant for Mature Synchrotron Resources, and allows BioCAT to focus on our core mission of providing cutting edge facilities and experimental capabilities for our users. Among other highlights, the grant will provide a new state of the art x-ray detector (Dectris EIGER 2 XE 9M), which has a larger area, smaller …

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Register for Everything BioSAXS 7: Getting started in biological small-angle x-ray solution scattering

BioCAT is offering its seventh intensive HOW-TO course in BioSAXS. Students will have four days of virtual lectures and hands-on software tutorials on the basics of BioSAXS data collection and processing from expert practitioners in the field. Students will also be able to mail in samples for data collection on the BioCAT beamline (Sector 18 at the APS) before the course, and there will be time during the workshop to get help with analysis of their own data.

The course will take place from 3/29/21 to 4/1/21 and is entirely virtual (via BlueJeans). See the schedule below for details.

Registration

All participants this year will be remote participants. The course will provide a virtual set of lectures and tutorials via BlueJeans, and participants will be able to mail in samples for SAXS data collection at BioCAT the week before the workshop. Participants will be able to ask questions during both lectures and tutorials, and will have time to get help with analysis of the data collected from their mail-in samples. They will also receive downloads of all course materials, including lecture slides and tutorials.

There is no cost associated with the workshop, but registration is …

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Everything BioSAXS 6 Workshop Wrap-Up

BioCAT held its sixth intensive HOW-TO course in BioSAXS from 10/26/20-10/29/20 with 24 remote participants. There were four days of lectures and hands-on software tutorials on the basics of BioSAXS data collection and processing from expert practitioners in the field. Participants could elect to mail in samples for data collection prior to the course, and roughly half of them sent research samples and were able to analyze their own data as part of the workshop.
Participants and instructors at the Everything BioSAXS 6 Workshop.

BioCAT held its sixth annual BioSAXS training course from 10/26/20-10/29/20. There were 24 remote participants and 6 instructors. The workshop was held entirely online, via BlueJeans, for ~4 hours each day. Before the workshop started, participants were able to mail samples to BioCAT for SAXS data collection. This data was then sent to them, and they were able to analyze it as part of the workshop.

Day one started off with an excellent overview of the basic physics of SAXS and what kind of information you can obtain from the technique by Dr. Richard Gillilan (BioSAXS beamline, CHESS). This was followed by a talk from Dr. Kushol …

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Register for Everything BioSAXS 6: Getting started in biological small-angle x-ray solution scattering

BioCAT is offering its sixth intensive HOW-TO course in BioSAXS. Students will have four days of virtual lectures and hands-on software tutorials on the basics of BioSAXS data collection and processing from expert practitioners in the field. Students will also be able to mail in samples for data collection on the BioCAT beamline (Sector 18 at the APS) before the course, and there will be time during the workshop to get help with analysis of their own data.

The course will take place from 10/26/20 to 10/29/20 and is entirely virtual (via BlueJeans). See the schedule below for details.

Registration

All participants this year will be remote participants. The course will provide a virtual set of lectures and tutorials via BlueJeans, and participants will be able to mail in samples for SAXS data collection at BioCAT the week before the workshop. Participants will be able to ask questions during both lectures and tutorials, and will have time to get help with analysis of the data collected from their mail-in samples. They will also receive downloads of all course materials, including lecture slides and tutorials.

There is no cost associated with the workshop, but registration is …

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SAXS studies of RNA elements from the SARS-CoV-2 virus at BioCAT

Dr. Srinivas Chakravarthy, BioCAT beamline scientist, prepares a SEC-MALS-SAXS experiment on RNA elements from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Small-angle solution x-ray scattering and biochemical characterization studies at the BioCAT are being used to study the structure of portions of RNA from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This RNA contains the genetic instructions the virus uses to replicate itself. These experiments are de-signed to see how these structures change when they interact with selected small molecules that are potential drug candidates. This work is a collaboration between Blanton Tolbert (Department of Chemistry, Case Western Reserve University), Amanda Hargrove (Duke University), Srinivas Chakravarthy (Illinois Institute of Technology, pictured above) and a NMR consortium coordinated by Harald Schwalbe at the Goethe University (Germany).
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