Direct Methods of Solving Macromolecular Structures. A Report

22 May to 2 June 1997

the 25th crystallographic course at the "E. Majorana" Centre, Erice, Italy

A NATO Advanced Study Institute

sponsored by the International Union of Crystallography

Director : Suzanne Fortier, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

This course has been run in parallel with the 26th, "Electron Crystallography"; a few joint sessions, with all participants in the same lecture hall, have been held.

18 "invited speakers" and 76 "students" from 23 countries attended 44 lectures and 18 hours of computer tutorials, plus 4 hours poster session. A total of 15 Pentium, 10 Indi SiGr stations, 5 large Macs and three smaller PCs were available: their networking, the attachment to international network and general management was under the careful and efficient survey by John Irwin, MRC, Cambridge.

The following speakers have contributed : P. Beurskens, Nijmegen; G. Bricogne, Cambridge; A. Brunger, Yale; C. W. Carter, Chapel Hill; K. Cowtan, York; P M D Fitzgerald, Rahway; S. Fortier, Kingston; C. Giacovazzo, Bari; C. Gilmore, Glasgow; F. hai-fu, Beijing; H Hauptman, Buffalo; S. Hovmuller, Stockholm ; R. Peschar, Amsterdam; A. Podjarni, Illkirck; H. Schenk, Amsterdam; G M Sheldrick, Goettingen; J. Smith, Purdue.

Topics have included Mathematical Methods, Computational Methods, Experimental Methods, Intensity Statistics, Integration of DM with Experimental Phase Information and with Structural Information, Ab-initio Phasing.

Lecturers have tried to gradually bring the audience from the background of the Direct Methods Theory to the applications of the tools offered by the modern technology to solving macromolecular structures. Contributions by participants have been an important part of the programme.

As a participant in the very first crystallographic course at Erice, Suzanne Fortier stimulated the local organizing committee to celebrate this 25th course. Her first idea of a "Masquerade Ball" resulted in a great success of fantasy and expression of initiative by most participants on Fri 30 May, at candle lighting in the S. Francesco court and medioeval stony rooms. . We hope to have a Web page showing how successful the initiative was.

At the moment you may enjoy part of it by clicking here (page built by Andy Dalby - not available anymore) and here (page built by Tony Chiverton - not available anymore)

To complete the celebration, the final buffet-dinner was exceptionally preceeded by the exhibition of a famous "flamenco" group from Padova, a handful of wonderful young ladies practising this folkdance with the Executive Secretary of the School of Crystallography in Erice, Paola Spadon, whenever she gets a few minutes free.....

Posted on 11 Dec 1994, updated on June 26, 1995; Jan 30, 1996; July 4, 1996 and finally reported on June 22, 1997

by Lodovico Riva di Sanseverino

email : ; fax +39 051 243336