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Integrated Structural Biology Infrastructure (INSTRUCT)
Start date: 01 Apr 2008, End date: 31 Mar 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Structural biology in the next two decades aims to integrate structural knowledge at different resolution levels into specific cellular contexts, with a temporal component, to underpin biomedical sciences. This challenge requires the seamless integration of techniques providing information in different resolution ranges. INSTRUCT will link the information obtained by the major structural biology methods with state-of-the art cell biology techniques to provide a dynamic picture of key cellular processes at all scales. Major technology advances, from high throughput methods in protein production, though NMR and X-ray crystallography to electron microscopy mean that major investment in infrastructure is required to maintain European competitiveness. The preparatory phase of INSTRUCT will forge a pan-European structure comprising a number of Core Centres, with broad infrastructure provision, an appropriate number of Associate Centres, with complimentary expertise and establish the mechanisms for establishing National Access Holder Communities of users and rules for access. The development of cutting-edge infrastructure will be energised by a focus on a few key biomedical questions and environment problems. There will be strong involvement of European industry and SMEs, by both direct collaboration on feasibility studies and by consultation; this will arise naturally as the requirements for high precision innovative instrumentation will challenge European industry to improve their capabilities and the use of the facilities for industrial research will strengthen Europe’s industrial competitiveness in particular in bio-pharma companies. The project will include a training program based on relevant interdisciplinary expertise. A major aim of the preparatory phase will be to establish the mechanisms, financial and legal, by which major funding bodies can work together to provide a coherent European infrastructure with wide European access.
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