As part of the BioXFEL STC consortium, the Fromme lab works in the development and application of free electron lasers (XFELs) to structural biology. We are engaged to continue to advance nano-crystallography as a routine end-to-end method including reliable growth, diagnostic and assessing of nanocrystals. We work in the development of new media for sample delivery with viscous jets for nano-crystallography experiments as well as new methodologies and analysis algorithms to improve refinement and indexing for SFX data. The Fromme lab in collaboration with LaBaer’s and Spence’s labs, is also working on establishing an in -vivo nano-crystal pipeline at the ASU Biodesign Institute to provide samples uniquely suited for XFEL experiments.
The following table provides descriptions of method projects being performed in the Fromme lab.
We are aiming to establish an automated protein production center in Arizona to support the study of proteins, which are the biomolecular machines that drive all important life functions in biology. We are developing a high-throughput protein expression platform for crystallization inside living cells and serial femtosecond crystallography at X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) that will feed target proteins for structural studies. Our mission is to understand protein functions at the proteome level in healthy and disease states.
Project Leader: Jose Martin-Garcia
Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) at powerful X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) has brought a new way of determining the atomic structure of biomolecules from nano/microcrystals. We are establishing serial micro-crystallography (SX) as a routine method worldwide by (a) advancing the growth and characterization of tiny crystals, (b) developing new media for sample delivery with viscous jets, and (c) new algorithms/software to optimize SFX data collection and analysis using monochromatic and polychromatic “pink” beams. At XFELs, we are developing pump-probe (light activated) and mix-and-inject (e.g. ligand binding) time-resolved SFX. Also, the increasing number of high-intensity microfocus beamlines and fast-readout, noiseless detectors at 3rd generation synchrotrons enable us to implement SX using the high-viscosity injector at synchrotrons worldwide, making SX more user friendly and accessible to the greater structural biology community.