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Nucleic acids - protein interactions

Chairs: Marco Nardini (Milan University, IT)

Speakers: Cristiano Mota (UCIBIO, PT), Israel Fernandez (CSIC-UPV/EHU, ES)

Interactions between nucleic acids and proteins are among the most important interactions in biology because they are fundamental to key biological processes, such as replication, transcription, and recombination. The wide range of structural conformations adopted by nucleic acids and proteins plays a crucial role in their interactions. The microsymposium “Nucleic acids - protein interactions” focuses on diverse representatives of such interactions across biological systems. 


Hot structures

Chairs: Marina Mapelli (IFOM-IEO, IT), Claudio Alfieri (ICR, London, UK)

Speakers: Irma Querques (Max Perutz lab, AT), Sebastian Glatt (Centre of Biotechnology, PL)

Structures of large macromolecular complexes offer invaluable insights into the intricate mechanisms underlying their roles within living cells. This microsymposium is dedicated to X-ray crystallography (MX) and cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) structures, showcasing their contributions to our understanding of biological processes. The details of the molecular landscapes provided by these structures uncover key principles governing cellular function, from enzymatic reactions to signaling cascades, and also serve as indispensable guides for the rational design of therapeutics targeting various diseases.


Serial crystallography and dynamics/room temperature

Chairs: Daniele de Sanctis (ESRF, EU) - Anna Warren (Diamond Light Source, UK)

Speakers: Doeke Hekstra (Harvard University, US), Jake Hill (University of Leeds, UK)

Generally, in cryo-crystallography a static structure is obtained for the desired protein. This gives important information about the overall arrangement of atoms but doesn’t give insight into the dynamics of how this protein might behave in its native state. Moreover, cryogenic temperature might hinder structural conformations that are relevant for understanding the protein function. Ambient crystallography in combination with time resolved crystallography, where a transient species can be ‘trapped’ and probed at different intervals throughout a reaction pathway, can be combined to study the dynamics of macromolecular systems and reveal biologically important intermediates and biological mechanisms. This microsymposia will look at recent developments in all areas of room temperature, serial and time resolved crystallography, both in methodology and scientific results obtained.


AI, software developments and Machine learning applied to MX and CryoEM

Chairs: José Luis Vilas (University of the Basque Country, ES)

Speakers: Carlos Oscar Sorzano (CSIC, ES), Senik Matinyan (Paul Scherrer Institut, CH)

This panel covers the latest cutting-edge developments in AI, machine learning, algorithms and software applied to MX (X-ray crystallography) and CryoEM (Cryo-Electron Microscopy). Attendees can expect insightful discussions on purely simulated methods as well as image processing with experimental data. The topic aims to shed light on the transformative impact these technologies have on the field of structural biology.


Infectious and Neglected diseases

Chairs: Federico Forneris (University of Pavia, IT) Pedro Alzari (Institut Pasteur, FR)

Speakers: Matti Pronker (Utrecht University, NL), Miquel Coll (IBMB-CSIC, SP)

This microsymposium will focus on the recent advancements in the structural studies about infectious and neglected diseases.


Structural studies in Enzymology

Chairs: Clarissa Melo Czekster (University of St. Andrews, UK), Martin Marek (Masaryk Univesrity, CZ)

Speakers: Roberto Steiner (King's College London, UK - University of Padova, IT), Allen M. Orville (Diamond Light Source, UK)

This microsymposium will present recent developments in enzymology.



MX and cryo-EM membrane Protein structures

Chairs: Finaritra Raoelijaona (Oxford University, UK), Miguel Berbeira-Santana (Oxford University, UK)

Speakers: TBA

A microsymposium devoted to the structural advancements in membrane proteins, either by crystallography or cryo-EM.


Nucleation and crystal growth/Chaperones and crystallization

Chairs: Emmanuel Saridakis (IAASARS, GR), Monika Budayova-Spano (IBS, FR)

Speakers: Jose A. Gavira (CSIC-UGR, ES), Magdalena Kowacz (Polish Academy of Sciences, PL)

This microsymposium is dedicated to fundamental studies and methodology for nucleation and growth, mainly of macromolecular crystals, but extending to other types of molecules/ assemblies as well. The increasingly recognised potential of chaperones for crystallisation will be addressed. 


Large assemblies - using X-rays, cryo-EM and Tomography

Chair: Massimo Degano (Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, IT)

Speakers: Hartmut Luecke (Universidade NOVA, PT), Erika Pellegrini (IBS, FR)

This microsymposium will cover the recent structures of large macromolecular assemblies by crystallography, cryo-EM or tomography.


 Structural-based drug discovery

Chairs: Rita Berisio (CNR-IBB, IT), Mariagrazia Pizza (Imperial College, UK)

Speakers: Juan Antonio Hermoso (CSIC, ES), Matthias Wilmanns (EMBL, DE)

The MS will address the contribution of structural biology to the understanding of mechanisms regulating key biological processes and its impact on drug/vaccine development.


New trends in quantum crystallography

Chairs: Michael Bodensteiner (University of Regensburg, DE), Simon Coles (University of Southampton, UK)

Speakers: Dietmar Stalke (Universityof Goettingen, DE), Birger Dittrich (Novartis, CH)

This session invites submissions from all scientists, from practitioners to method developers. In particular, end-users of any kind of quantum crystallographic technique are encouraged to showcase their application of popular new approaches. Topics may include all theoretical and practical aspects of the application of quantum mechanics to the study of crystalline materials. Presenters are encouraged to show how these methods either enable or improve the generation of results, or how they may be used to calculate and use properties to enhance and provide insights into chemical understanding. Research areas may range from inorganic solids and networks, to organic and organometallic compounds, to large structures such as proteins.


Correlation between quantum crystallography and crystal dynamics

Chairs: Maura Malińska (University of Warsaw, PL), Anders Østergaard Madsen (University of Copenhagen, DK)

Speakers: Silvia Capelli (ISIS, UK), Michał Chodkiewicz (University of Warsaw, PL)

This session aims to integrate quantum crystallography and crystal dynamics advancements. Contributions are welcome in utilizing quantum crystallography for studying crystal dynamics, as well as improving static density description by modeling thermal motion.


Molecular structure and chemical bonding in the view of quantum crystallography

Chairs: Dietmar Stalke (University of Göttingen, DE ), Catharine Esterhuysen (Stellenbosch University, ZA)

Speakers: Dr. Michail Arhangelskis (University of Warsaw, PL), Rebecca Scatena (Oxford University, UK)

Precise description of molecular structures and chemical bonds has been one  of the major driving forces of modern quantum crystallographic developments. To  accomplish these tasks, several strategies have been proposed to classify various  traditional interactions encountered in crystals, as well as to identify interactions that do  not fit into existing definitions. In this session we welcome contributions related to the  development and application of new and old quantum crystallographic methodologies  aiming to the classification of intra- and intermolecular interactions in crystals, the  elucidation of interaction energies, and the investigation of case studies showing how the above-mentioned interactions can be linked to macroscopic properties. 


Aperiodic order and complex superstructures

Chairs: Ireneusz BUGAŃSKI (AGH University of Krakow, PL), Emilie Gaudry(University of Lorraine, FR)

Speakers: Luca Bindi (University of Florence, IT), Maria Diaz-Lopez (Institut Néel, FR)

The session is dedicated to the latest discoveries in the field of the aperiodic structures crystallography from the perspective of the theoretical and experimental research. 


ED small waves, big ponds – Biomolecules and macromolecules

Chairs: Dominique Housset (IBS, FR)

Speakers: Jan Peter Abrahams (PSI, CH), Isabel UsonIBMB (CSIC, SP)

This microsymposium focuses on the emergence of electron diffraction (ED) to determine the 3D structure of biologically significant molecules and macromolecules. 3D ED is a unique technique to collect rapidly complete 3D diffraction data out a few nano-sized crystals and obtain information about ions charges. With about 100 protein structures determined by 3D ED deposited in the PDB so far, on only 25 different proteins, 3D ED is not yet a main player in structural biology. However, the technique is going to benefit from the huge development of cryo-EM equipments worldwilde and the number of structural biology laboratories with access to a 3D ED facility will increase rapidly. This microsymposium will welcome works on either methodological developments in 3D ED or new structural biology results that use 3D ED.


Method development and instrumentation in the world of electron diffraction

Chairs: Mariana Klementova (FZU, CZ)

Speakers: Alke Meents (DESY, DE), Paulina Dominiak (University of Warsaw, PL)

Over the last decade, electron diffraction has evolved into a well-established method of structural analysis, contributing significantly to advancements across various realms of crystallography. Nonetheless, electron diffraction is still a rapidly evolving field with a multitude of applications. In this microsymposium, contributions of development of instrumentation as well as data processing are welcome.


Minerals and inorganic materials: state of art and new perspectives

Chairs: Isabella Pignatelli (University of Lorraine, FR), Cristiano Ferraris (Paris, FR)

Speakers: Emanuele Priola (University of Turin, IT) Maura Mancinelli (University of Ferrara, IT)

Crystallography remains the key to understand the structure of mineral and related inorganic materials, in order to link their structural features to the physical/chemical properties, as well as to discover new structural architectures. Crystallographic investigations have a fundamental role in many fields of geosciences and material sciences.


Crystal-chemistry of minerals in the Universe: genesis, phase stability, and planetological implications

Chairs: Luca Bindi (Univesrity of Florence, IT), Lars Ehm (Stony Brook University, USA)

Speakers: Falko Langenhorst (University of Jena, DE), Christoph Salzmann (University College London, UK)

The microsymposium will bring together leading experts and enthusiasts to unravel the secrets of minerals that span the vast reaches of our cosmos. We’ll delve into the genesis of minerals, investigating the intricate processes that give rise to these crystalline structures in diverse cosmic environments, and will explore the phase stability of cosmic minerals, understanding the delicate balance of conditions that determine their existence and persistence across celestial bodies. 


Advanced and new techniques to study inorganic and magnetic crystal structures

Chairs: Gladys Steciuk (FZU, CZ), Enrico Mugnaioli (University, Pisa, IT), Francoise Damay (CEA, FR)

Speakers: Ella M. Schmidt (University of Bremen, DE), Iurii Kibalin (CEA-Saclay, FR)

In addition to X-ray diffraction methods, other techniques are developed to characterize the structures of minerals and inorganic compounds. Some of them require only small amounts of sample and are not destructive, facilitating their applications in material sciences, geology, and planetology. Others are targeting in-situ analyses or under extreme conditions. These techniques include, among others, electron diffraction, X-ray microtomography, and advanced high-pressure neutron diffraction, and they can be extended to more theoretical approaches.


When can ED challenge XRD in small molecule crystallography?

Chairs: Arianna Lanza (Copenaghen University, DK), Tim Gruene (University of Wien, AT)

Speakers: Petr Brázda (Czech Academy of Sciences, CZ), Kasper Steen Pedersen (Technical University of Denmark, DK)

This MS on electron diffraction highlights results where size limitations of the sample prevented structure determination from X-ray diffraction, be it powder or single crystal diffraction, and where electron diffraction yielded information otherwise inaccessible.


Electron diffraction joining forces with quantum crystallography towards materials science applications

Chairs: Richard Beanland (University of Warwick, UK), Paulina Dominiak (University of Warsaw, PL)

Speakers: Koji Yonekura (RIKEN/Tohoku University, JP), Paul Klar (University of Bremen, DE)

In the field of materials science, there has been a growing interest in developing new crystalline phases with improved physical properties. To design such materials, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of how molecules interact with one another and which interactions may be responsible for the desired physical property. Quantum crystallography and Electron Diffraction techniques offer better approaches compared to traditional techniques in terms of accuracy and precision, making them highly promising tools in the field of materials science. This session is intended to encourage discussion on advances in structure-property correlation and engineering of functional materials via the use of various quantum and electron diffraction crystallographic tools.


AI and Automation in data collection and processing

Chairs: Nicola Casati (SLS-PSI, CH)

Speakers: Rosanna Rizzi (CNR, IT), Vadim Dyadkin (ESRF, Grenoble, FR)

The ever increasing capabilities in data generation, both in terms of quantity and quality, can benefit from novel approaches both in the automation of tedious processes as well as in advanced data analysis, including large datasets. From artificial intelligence to neural networks there is a growing field of opportunities for optimization and discovery.


Future of light sources and XFEL

Chairs: Adam Round (European XFEL, DE), Lisa Vaccari (Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste, IT)

Speakers: Harald Reichert (DESY, DE), Henry Chapman (CFEL, DE)

Highlighting current trends and future opportunities at light sources worldwide. Abstracts are welcome on topics covering facility and instrumentation updates, improved methods and scientific results taking advantage of the improved brilliance and/or coherence available at new sources. 


Advances in Powder Diffraction Instrumentation

Chairs: Mads Jørgensen (Aarhus and MaxIV, DK, SE), Stefano Checchia (ESRF, FR)

Speakers: Nicola Pietro Maria Casati (PSI, CH), Lucile Mangin-Thro (Institut Laue-Langevin, FR)

Powder diffraction is a well-established technique, but its potential continues to increase thanks to new light sources, detectors, and computing resources. The focus of the MS is on new developments in instrumentation, detectors, and sample environments for powder diffraction. Submissions describing novel scanning techniques and/or multimodal experiments are also encouraged.


In situ and Operando diffraction

Chairs: Catherine Dejoie (ESRF, FR), Manfred Burghammer (ESRF, FR)

Speakers: Jozef Keckes (Austrian Academy of Sciences, AT), Simona Galli (University of Insubria, IT)

This microsymposium focuses on exploring the fundamental aspects of the structure of materials during in-situ or operando studies using diffraction methods. This can cover a large range of materials and applications, as a function of temperature, atmosphere, electric/magnetic field, ... with a particular focus for recent advances in the field of catalysis, gas trapping, battery and fuel cell characterization, or crystallization.


Chirality: Meeting point of crystallography, chemistry and topology

Chairs: Gerard Coquerel (Univeristy of Rouen, FR), Tom Leyssens (UC Luovain, BE)

Speakers: Elias Vlieg (Radboud University, NL), Ryusei Oketani (Osaka University, JP)

In this microsymposium, focus is placed on chirality of the solid-state and in particular how the properties of chiral solid states can be used in the context of applications such as resolution or deracemization. Talks will highlight the importance of unraveling how structure and chemical process development go hand in hand.


High Pressure Crystallography: Exploring Structure and Method Development at Extreme Conditions

Chairs: Natalia Dubrovinskaia (University of Bayreuth, DE), Wilson Crichton (ESRF, FR)

Speakers: Elena Bykova (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, DE), Philip Salmon (University of Bath, UK)

This session will highlight the state-of-the-art structural investigations of materials under extreme pressures and temperatures using both X-ray and neutron diffraction methods. Our goal is to disseminate new approaches. We will present major breakthroughs in the methodology for analyzing single-crystal X-ray diffraction data from multiphase mixtures of microcrystalline solids and powders. We will cover both in situstructure/property characterization and ex situ studies of materials synthesized under extreme conditions using diamond anvil cells and large-volume apparatus. Additionally, we will discuss complementary techniques, from spectroscopies to calculations, which further facilitate the elucidation of results that are challenging to obtain.


Structural characterization of Energy Harvesting and Conversion Materials

Chairs: Maria Diaz-Lopez (CNRS, FR), Paula Macarena Abdala (ETH Zürich, CH)

Speakers: Karin Kleiner (University of Münster, DE)

This microsymposium will discuss methods for characterizing the structure of materials energy harvesting and conversion to understand their structure-performance relationships. Techniques to dress the structure of these functional materials at different time and length scale scales will be highlighted. 


Structural characterization in Functional materials 

Chairs: Michael J. Pitcher (Campus CNRS Orléans, FR), Julia Payne (University of St. Andrews, UK)

Speakers: Ivana Evans (Durham University, UK), Olivier Perez (CNRS/ENSICAEN, Caen, FR)

This microsymposium will focus on the challenges and complexities of structural analysis across a broad range of functional inorganic and hybrid materials.


Porous functional materials

Chairs: Donatella Armentano (University of Calabria, IT), Stefano Canossa (ETH Zurich, CH)

Speakers: Matt Cliffe (University of Nottingham, UK), Celia Castillo-Blas (University of Cambridge, UK)

Porous functional materials microsymposius would provide a broad overview of the recent results of applying cutting-edge crystallography to characterize porous materials such as metal–organic frameworks, and develop their applications.


Noncovalent interactions in structure design

Chairs: Delia Haynes (Stellenbosch University, ZA), Riccardo Montis (University of Urbino, IT)

Speakers: Ie-Rang Jeon (University of Rennes, FR), Kari Rissanen (University of Jyväskylä, FI)

This microsymposium will focus on the understanding and application of non-covalent interactions in the design of solid-state materials. Contributions relating to the nature and the use of hydrogen bonding, halogen bonding, chalcogen bonding or any other class of non-covalent interactions will be welcome.


Advanced materials design with (co)crystal engineering: synthesis, crystal growth, structure and function

Chairs: Alessia Bacchi (University of Parma, IT), Eva Kovats Wigner (Budapest, Hungary, HU)

Speakers: Helena J. Shepherd (University of Kent, UK), René de Gelder ( Radboud University, NL)

This MS will review the state of the art of the design of advanced molecular and multicomponent materials by using crystal engineering. It will encompass material design, synthethic strategies, crystal growth, relations between structure and function.


Correlate molecular structure with materials properties

Chairs: Kresimir Molcanov (Institut Ruđer Bošković, HR), Vania Andrè (University of Lisbon, PT)

Speakers: Anna Krawczuk (University of Göttingen, DE), Jeremy Rawson (University of Windsor, CA)

New materials with targeted physical properties are an area of current interest from both, fundamental and applicative points of view. Molecular materials are chemically tunable and thus good candidates to reach this goal. They can exhibit a single property such as gas storage, sensing, magnetism or catalysts, but they can also be multifunctional with two or more physical properties of interest. Thus, bulk properties of a material stem from structure of its constituent molecules. A clever choice of the constituent molecules could allow the appearance of an unusual combination of physical properties in the same compound, or even a mutual interplay or synergy of the properties involved.


Applications of 3D-PDF

Chairs: Thomas Weber (ETH Zürich, CH), Ella M. Schmidt (University of Bremen, DE)

Speakers: Nikolaj Roth (Aarhus University, DK), Matthew Krogstad (Argonne National Laboratory, USA)

This microsymposium aims to collect presentations on recent developments in the application of three-dimensional difference pair distribution functions. Diffuse scattering of static and/or dynamic origin from electron, neutron or X-ray diffraction experiments, their respective signatures in PDF space and their corresponding disorder models will be discussed.


Methods for diffuse scattering analysis from powder and single-crystals

Chairs: Arkadiy Simonov (ETH Zürich, CH), Wojciech A. Slawinski (University of Warsaw, PL)

Speakers: Tatiana Gorelik (Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, DE) Thomas Nicholas (Oxford University, UK)

This session will focus on the methods of understanding the local structure of disordered crystals, amorphous materials or liquids using diffuse diffraction or total scattering experiments from x-rays, neutrons or electrons. The focus will be on methodological aspects of the data acquisition and analysis including but not limited to pair distribution function and 3D-∆PDF methods, diffuse scattering, direct and reverse monte carlo simulations, ab-initio calculations or novel developments in instrumentation.


Crystallography in cultural and natural heritage

Chairs: Klaudia Hradil (TU-Vien, AT), Jean-Paul Itié (SOLEIL , FR)

Speakers: Solenn Reguer (SOLEIL, FR), Frederik Vanmeert (Rijksmuseum, NL)

The main objective of the microsymposia is to enable the knowled​​ge transfer of crystallography-based analytical techniques for the analysis of heritage materials. In-depth characterization of heritage materials is of great importance for conservation issues and is an excellent way to understand the archaeological sites and artefacts of the past. 


How to address questions, doubts and struggles of a young crystallographer

Chairs: Bill Clegg (Newcastle University, UK), Mateja Pisacic (University of Zagreb, HR)

Speakers: Arianna Minelli (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA), Hans-Beat Buergi, (University of Bern, CH)

This microsymposium aims to address different aspects of the challenges that young crystallographers face on a daily basis and should therefore welcome contributions that are related to tackling challenges associated with problematic structures (e.g., dealing with twinning, disordered structures, structural defects, etc.), but also those related to questions about the quality of the solved structures. We would also like to include other problematic issues such as coping with stress (i.e., mental health) during PhD and postdoctoral periods and also advice on career development.


Things we no longer need to know – or do we?

Chairs: Mike Glazer (Oxford University, UK), Dubravka Matkovic-Calogovic (University of Zagreb, HR)

Speakers: Bill Clegg (Newcastle University, UK). Regine Herbst-Irmer (University of Göttingen, DE)

Themes will be presented that represent methods and approaches that have perhaps fallen out of common practice (e.g. through reliance on automation or ignorance of basic crystallographic theory) but could be very useful today.


Common mistakes and problems in using black boxes

Chairs: Regine Herbst-Irmer (University of Göttingen, DE), Ross Angel (CNR, IT)

Speakers: Andrea Thorn (University of Hamburg, DE) Horst Puschmann (Durham University, UK)

Crystallographers, as all scientists, use various concepts and computing tools to solve problems and tackle data analysis. However, the actual mode of action is often not well understood and the researchers are not fully aware of how the applied methods work. The aim of this microsymposium is to find a way to peek inside 'the black boxes' by identifying key features on which the used approaches rely, which help to avoid common mistakes and provide useful tips.


Techniques to discover polymorphism: mechanochemistry, crystal growth and others

Chairs: Nora May (HUN-REN, HU), Paola Paoli (University of Florence, IT)

Speakers: Michael Zaworotko (University of Limerick, IE), Adam Michalchuk (University of Birmingham, UK)

Understanding and controlling the structural and energetic factors which drive the supramolecular arrangement in crystals, is still a matter of great importance today in order to be able to produce materials with the desired properties. Hence the relevance of  polymorphism in many area (chemistry, materials, pharmaceutics), given that polymorphs can greatly differ as for their chemical, physical, thermodynamic and mechanical properties, just to name a few. This microsymposium  will provide an opportunity to present relevant results in which polymorphs formation is investigated under different conditions and with different techniques.


Approaches and tools for learning crystallography efficiently and avoiding misconceptions

Chairs: Consiglia Tedesco (University of Salerno, IT), Josefina Perles Hernáez (Autonoma, Madrid, ES)

Speakers: Miguel Gómez-Heras (Autonomous University of Madrid, ES)

This MS will focus on the teaching aspects of crystallography and related subjects, not only within the scope of higher education degrees, but also in other educational levels, as well as dissemination and outreach activities for the general public. Success stories and other personal perspectives can be included, and practical results should be presented to examine the possibilities and benefits of different methodological approaches.


Inclusion – not only in crystals: spotting and overcoming potential obstacles

Chairs: Philipp Hans (SESAME, JO), Ghazala Sadicq (CCDC, UK)

Speakers: Jessica Wade (Imperial College, London, UK), Helena Butkiewicz (University of Warsaw, PL)

This microsymposium aims at shedding light on the concepts of diversity, equality and inclusion with respect to social group dynamics. Mainly, it wants to raise or create awareness in the mainstream for people outside of the mainstream, to sensitize and give perspectives. On the basis of success stories and other personal perspectives, we want to show ways of dealing with and overcoming barriers. The focus can be broad and should not be seen as restricted to a special aspect. Contributors are encouraged to be aware that criteria such as social status, age, health concerns, issues like mobbing, language and many more can be addressed in this micro symposium which also aims to be a forum for everyone. Empirical evidence should be presented to examine the possibilities and benefits of inclusive and enabling behaviors to the community, pros, cons and obstacles in both directions. We want to understand factors that lead to individuals not being invited to a certain zone as well as factors that lead to actors not taking chances and anything complementary.


 ISCoC 50th anniversary: memories from the past, present and views for the future

Chairs: Annalisa Guerri (University of Florence, IT), Paola Spadon (University of Padova, IT )

Speakers: Carlo Mealli  (CNR, IT)

2024 is the 50th anniversary of the International School of Crystallography (ISCoC) which runs almost yearly in Erice from 1974. The speakers of the MS will give a flavor of what happened in this period and how the school changed and changed the path of some of the participants.

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