Our Crystallisation facility is a research and training facility for the scientific community interested in solving the 3D structures of soluble or membrane proteins by X-ray crystallography. The facility is based here in the Research Complex and combines the expertise of the Membrane Laboratory (MPL) and Diamond Light Source. This platform is high throughput and provides users with an easy route into the VMXi beamline, the fully automated in situ and serial crystallography beamline at the Diamond Light Source, UK. The seemless interaction between the crystallisation facility and VMXi at Diamond reduces the delay between crystal growth and data collection without the need to cryocool acceleration structure solution.

This facility is available to any academic research group interested in crystallising and solving structures of soluble and membrane proteins. The facility operates in a similar way to a synchrotron beamline, with users either sending samples for initial screening or by visiting themselves for a day to use the equipment based at the facility under supervision. Users can also make repeat visits to the facility. The facility manager provides training and access to equipment for visitors on site at RCaH/Diamond. The initial screenings are set up in 96-well plate formats (Greiner crystal quick X, Mitegen Insitu or Swiss Sci plates) using sitting-drop vapour diffusion experiments.

The protein samples are dispensed in 200 nl drops and we have 15 commercial screens available provide a wide range od mixtures. Crystal hits can be tested in the insitu 96-well crystallisation plates at VMXi to assess diffraction quality and collect complete data.

  • Please contact Dr Halina Mikolajek for soluble protein and Dr Andrew Quigley for membrane protein crystallisation by email.
  • You will then be asked to complete a project form describing the proposed experiments.
  • Users have 3 options: post sample, visit with sample or plates
  • If you would like to use VMXi beamline, please email:

Industry Users

The crystallisation facility welcomes collaboration with Industrial partners, offering two modes of access: 

1.      Non-proprietary access is available for projects where results could be published within a reasonable timeframe. For this option, the collaborative projects would be managed in a similar way to academic proposals.

2.      Proprietary access – organisations interested in this option should contact the Industrial Liaison Office on +44 (0)1235 778797 or via e-mail.


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