X-ray Crystallography Core

About the X-ray Crystallography Facility

Core Summary

The X-ray Crystallography Facility located at 99 Brookline Ave. (Research North) was recently established as a core to serve the needs of investigators in the BIDMC and Harvard Medical School community interested in using structural biology as a tool in their research.

The laboratory houses instrumentation consisting of:

  • Micromax 007 X-ray generator
  • R-Axis HTC detector
  • Osmic VariMax HF confocal optics
  • X-Stream 2000 cryogenic device for data collection at 100K
  • A Peak Scientific nitrogen generator
  • Two Olympus microscopes are available for inspecting and photographing crystal trays
  • Two incubators (4ºC - 25ºC) are available for crystallization experiments
  • A Leica Z6 Stereo Microscope with polarizer
  • A Spot Flex 15.2 64 Mp Shifting Pixel Digital Camera
  • TTP Labtech Mosquito nanolitre pipetting robot
  • An Art Robbins Instrument Cryscam for high throughput crystallization plate imaging
  • A Matrix Hydra DT for 96-well transfer
  • A Bio-Rad NGC for protein purification
  • Several Bio-Rad Duo Flow systems for protein purification
  • An Eppendorf S41i CO2 shaker for suspension CHO and HEK-293 cells expression
  • A Bio-Rad CFX Connect q-PCR for thermal shift assays
  • A MicroCal ITC to investigate biomolecular interactions

Supporting computing facilities include several Linux PCs which can be used for data acquisition, analysis and processing.


  • Cloning of your gene of interest into a variety of vectors for expression in bacteria, insect and mammalian cells. We have hundreds of expression vectors and gene templates in stock. We can synthesize your clone and insert into almost any commercially vector or your custom vector.
  • Preparation of endotoxin free plasmids and bacmids for expression in bacteria, insect and mammalian expression systems
  • Guidance with expression of your gene of interest
  • Protein expression and purification in rich and minimal media
  • Protein preparation for X-ray crystal structure determination, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy, Cryo-EM and other biophysical characterization methods
  • Optimization of cryo conditions
  • X-ray data collection at ambient temperature and 100K
  • Data analysis and processing
  • Data collection using synchrotron radiation (BNL, APS, Diamond, ESRF and EMBL)
  • Advice on phasing strategies including molecular replacement and multiwavelength methods
  • Structure solution and analysis
  • We have purified and stock many commonly used proteases, polymerases, kinases, phosphatases etc. Please contact us for details.
  • We have active collaborations with the NMR Core Facilities at Harvard Medical School for macromolecular and small molecule characterization using a variety of techniques 

Contact Information

Gabriel Birrane, PhD
Phone: 617-667-0025
Fax: 617-975-5243
Email Dr. Gabriel Birrane