Crystallography and electron microscopy are pre-eminent techniques for obtaining the structure of biological macromolecules at atomic resolution. These structures, components of living organisms and viruses, are central to understand the detailed mechanisms of biological processes, and to discover novel therapeutics using a structure-based approach. Almost weekly, international journals such as Nature, Science, Cell show striking drawings of large biological molecular assemblies, and the articles therein explain the role and function in their biological environments. To counter the myriad modern threats of disease and their consequences for the living organisms, there is an urgent need to interpret the significance of the hundreds macromolecular structures published nowadays. This meeting will train upcoming generations of scientists to undertake this important task.
The present scientific programme will focus on the most recent achievements in structural studies of large molecular assemblies. Formal lectures in the main hall will be integrated with discussion and hot-question time sessions. The most recent advances in Information Technology -including speedy internet connection and most modern computers - will be available at the Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture. Subject to agreeement by each speaker, the proceedings in the lecture hall will be web-broadcasted as a "Virtual Course"