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The Centre for Integrated Structural Biology

Final Report Summary - CISB (The Centre for Integrated Structural Biology)

The stated objectives of the 'Centre for Integrated Structural Biology' (CISB) project was a new laboratory complex built adjacent to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Grenoble outstation on the ILL-ESRF-EMBL common site. This will be approximately 50 % occupied by staff from the IVMS and 50 % by staff from the ESRF, ILL, EMBL and IBS with a total of 60 staff initially. New technical platforms, some of which will be in the new building, will be established for high throughput protein expression and crystallisation, protein sample quality control, in vivo isotope labelling, high-throughput X-ray crystallographic data collection, neutron crystallography and electron microscopy. The CISB will stimulate multidisciplinary research in structural biology both locally and Europe wide, thus representing an important integrative step in structuring the European research area.

The CISB partners have fully implemented this vision. They have created a unique environment for integrated structural biology with state-of-the-art and innovative technical platforms which are driving international class science. Furthermore, through robust management practices and the strong support, including financial, of the governing bodies of each partner, the CISB is sustainable into the future. This is a major achievement of which the CISB partners can be proud.

A central component of the project, the construction of the CISB laboratory complex adjacent to the current EMBL on the common site was started in June 2004 and delivered on time and on budget in July 2005. This building now houses scientists from each partner institute and is a focus for joint scientific activities.

The partners strongly believe that the four-year CISB project has been an overwhelming success. Overcoming the administrative hurdles of quite different institutes working together, we have created a unique environment for integrated structural biology with an 'array of molecular biology and biophysics capabilities may be unique among academic research environments in Europe or North America'.

The CISB platforms, protein expression, protein quality control, high-throughput crystallisation, high-throughput synchrotron X-ray data collection, isotope-labelling, neutron crystallography and electron microscopy are continually evolving to remain state-of-the-art. Indeed additional capabilities, not foreseen in the original CISB proposal, have already been implemented such as the joint SAXS-SANS platform and facilities for protein expression in insect and mammalian cells.

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