Director : Michael G. Rossmann, Purdue University, IN, USA

March 28 to April 10, 1976


From a Foreword to a collection of the contributions by the appointed Chairs at the meeting, appeared in a booklet, "Reviews of the Scientific Areas", produced by Bror Strandberg, Uppsala, in December 1977.

In spring 1976 a conference on CRYSTALLOGRAPHY OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY was held at the "Ettore Majorana" Centre for Scientific Culture, at Erice, Trapani, Sicily, Italy. This very successful conference was organized by Prof. Michael Rossmann, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA and Prof. Lodovico Riva di Sanseverino, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy. A booklet with summaries of Scientific Sessions was published shortly after the conference. At the meeting it was suggested by the undersigned that the chairman of each session should be asked to write a review of the topic covered at the corresponding session. The idea was that a collection of even non-ambitious reviews would reflect some of of the very stimulating atmosphere at the Erice meeting and would give important information on the methods and results at the time of the conference as well as indication on the trends in the different parts of the field. It was thought that especially many students in the beginning of their careers could have use of and be stimulated by such a collection of reviews. Both the organizers and the conference participants supported the suggestion of a review collection.


In this photo you recognize on their kneesLodovico, Mario Mammi, Ada Yonath, Colette De Rango, then standing Jenny Glusker, Bob Diamond, Bror Strandberg, Vivian Cody, Sundaralingam, Boris Vainshtein, Dorothy Hodgkin, Lelio Mazzarella. Paola is on the stairs two heads above Boris, and Michael Rossmann second last from the top with a great black beard!


The present booklet contains reviews on about half of the topics discussed at Erice. For the rest of the topics the "Summaries of the Scientific Sessions" have been included for the sake of completeness. In some cases there have been good reasons for not submitting any contribution; some topics have recently been thoroughly reviewed elsewhere. Furthermore I certainly understand and agree with those chairmen who claimed that they should have done a faster and more complete job if they had known in advance that reviews were expected.

For various reasons the printing of this booklet has been delayed far too long and therefore some information are out-of-date. For this I sincerely apologize to the chairmen who have submitted contributions: however, most of the content is still relevant and ought to be useful and stimulating especislly for those who did not attend the Erice conference.

Finally I would like to thank Michael Rossmann and Lodovico Riva di Sanseverino for their kind help and encouragement and Sharon Wilder and Karen Babos, Purdue University for the typing of the manuscripts and Sharon Wilder for excellent planning and arrangements during the production of this booklet

Bror Strandberg

PS: a list of titles and contributors is available; requests of copies of contributions to

List of participants also available.


But the list of Institutions, Bodies and Companies - inimmaginable to the 2007 standards - follows

National Research Council, Rome
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome
European Molecular Biology Organization, Heidelberg
Assessorato Regional Turismo e Spettacolo, Palermo
Impresa Cav. Rendo, Catania
Impresa Comm. Arturo Cassina, Palermo
Azienda Autonoma di Palermo e Monreale, Palermo
Italchemi SpA, Parma
Farmitalia, Milano
IBM Italia, Roma
Banco di Sicilia, Palermo
Cassa di Risparmio per le Provincie Siciliane, Palermo
COSIAC SpA, Palermo
British Council, London
Cantina Sociale "Settesoli" Menfi, Agrigento
Ente Provinciale del Turismo, Trapani
Banca Sicula, Trapani
Banca del Popolo, Trapani
Fotottica Randazzo SpA, Palermo
S. F. Flaccovio Editore, Palermo

List added to previous data on Dec 10, 2007