@ Cristallina November 2022 & April 2023
Our Dioscuri Center uses state-of-the-art experimental methods that allow us to study the molecular mechanisms of proteins. One of these methods is the time-resolved serial femtosecond X-ray crystallography that we perform, among others, at the Swiss X-ray Free-Electron Laser (SwissFEL, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland) to gain spatiotemporal insights into the structural dynamics of our protein targets. Our recent travels to Villigen happened in November 2022 and April 2023, where Nogly Lab, alongside fantastic collaborators John Beale, Guillaume Gotthard, and many others, worked 36-to-48-hour beamtimes, recording proteins in action.
We were lucky to become one of the first users of the newly constructed Cristallina experimental station with the capability to deliver crystalline samples on solid supports efficiently. Collaboration with all our international partners is a fundamental part of our Dioscuri Center and an excellent way to expand the expertise of Nogly Lab members. It has been a nurturing experience to visit the SwissFEL and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) facilities and collaborate with the Cristallina team that was commissioning a new experimental setup.
Work in a beautiful and supportive environment
To get to the SwissFEL from Krakow, we arrived by plane at the Zurich airport and then took a train to Villigen, accompanied by the very quaint and beautiful landscapes of countryside Switzerland.
Once at the SwissFEL, in the company and with the help of the PSI scientists that take care of the Cristallina beamline, we prepare the samples, deliver them to the X-ray beam, take the diffraction snapshots needed to process what will one day become a protein mechanism movie that will come to change the way we see a particular protein!
Cristallina control room and SwissFEL surroundings. From left: Bence, Magda, Andrea and John.
Who traveled from Krakow?
In the April 2023 experiment, Nogly Lab was represented by the group leader, Przemyslaw Nogly, and three postdocs, Andrea Flores-Ibarra, Magdalena Pachota, and Bence Olasz. Thanks to our project manager, Katarzyna Friedlein-Wójtowicz, for handling the logistics! In the featured photo, you can see four of us, from left to right: Bence, Przemek, Andrea and Magda, looking all fresh and ready to tackle the challenges ahead, posing in front of the SwissFEL.
Big thanks to Andrea for drafting the post and all involved for the exciting experiments!