Category: Automation and High-Throughput Technologies

1306-B - Evolution of Protein Crystal Imaging Technology and Automation at Genentech

Monday, February 5, 2018
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

As the field of protein crystallography has advanced to tackle more complex targets, the need for large scale crystal growth screening for increasingly difficult crystallizations has become the norm.

The key challenges for protein crystallization are to (1) identify the crystals while screening hundreds or thousands of crystal growth experiments per single project in a high throughput manner, (2) identify and recognize increasingly smaller protein crystals, (3) find crystals hidden in growth media precipitate and through viscous lipid cubic phase (LCP) growth media for membrane protein research, and (4) filter out false-positives – distinguish protein crystals from salt crystals.

These crystal observation, identification and sheer numeric challenges have driven advancements in optical systems and imaging methods such as use of ultra-violet light and second harmonic generation techniques, as well as advancements in automation.

The Protein Crystallography group within the Structural Biology Department at Genentech takes advantage of developing technologies to maintain our competitive edge.

Robert Mayer

Sr. Systems Specialist
South San Francisco, CA

Robert Mayer, Senior Systems Specialist for X-Ray Protein Crystallography facilities, Structural Biology Dept, Research Division, Genentech, Inc. 8.5 years.
Senior Process & Equipment Engineer, Metals (PVD/MOCVD) Group, Thin Films-Diffusion Division, D2 Chip Development Fabrication Plant, Intel Corporation, 9 years.
Principle Science & Engineering Technician and Senior Science & Engineering Associate, Stanford University (PEP Vacuum Group, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center; and Ultra-High Vacuum Group and Structural Molecular Biology Group, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory), 23 years.