Genomic Science Program
U.S. Department of Energy | Office of Science | Biological and Environmental Research Program

Structural Biology Center at Sector 19 of Advanced Photon Source


Andrzej Joachimiak1,2* (, Karolina Michalska1, Youngchang Kim1, Alex Lavens1, Changsoo Chang1, Kemin Tan1, Krzysztof Lazarski1, Gyorgy Babnigg1, Zou Finfrock1, and Gerold Rosenbaum1


1Argonne National Laboratory; and 2University of Chicago



  1. Provide an integrated x-ray macromolecular structural biology platform and advanced user support at the Advances Photon Source for BER and general users.
  2. Development and implementation of new methods and applications in macromolecular.
  3. Support a diverse user outreach and training.


The Structural Biology Center (SBC) at Argonne National Laboratory operated insertion device (ID) and bending magnet (BM) beamlines at Sector 19 of the Advanced Photon Source (APS) as a user facility for macromolecular crystallography since 1997. The facility was funded by Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research. The 19ID undulator beamline was designed and built to take full advantage of the high flux, brightness and quality of x-ray beams delivered by the APS and was the first macromolecular crystallography facility open to users. 19BM was added to user program in 1999. These two beamlines delivered small, very low angular divergent x-ray beams onto micrometer-size crystal samples thereby permitting studies of large and complex molecular systems at atomic resolution. The high flexibility, inherent to the optics design, coupled with a kappa-geometry goniometer and beamline control software enabled development of optimal strategies for protein crystallographic experiments, thus maximizing the chances of their success. A large-area detectors allowed high-quality diffraction data to be measured rapidly to the crystal diffraction limits.

Users collected data on site or remotely and data were collected, processed and structures determined with advanced software in near real time. Many users had limited synchrotron/crystallography expertise and SBC staff provided extensive training and support. The facility offered a flexible schedule on one of the most efficient data collection and structure determination platforms for protein crystallography demonstrate high productivity (19ID 4966 and 19BM 1408 PDB deposits respectively and 2,796 peer reviewed publications).

The SBC promoted scientific and technological innovation in support of the DOE mission by providing world-class macromolecular crystallography facility to BER and biology research community. The SBC exploited major advances in macromolecular x-ray crystallography and addressed the most challenging structural biology problems to expand scientific knowledge. The SBC was an important component in structural biology innovation, structural genomics, metagenomics, and proteomics, and genomics research, with a major focus on systems biology, bio-nanomachines, medicine and bio-catalysis. These fields are highly relevant to bioenergy resources, health, national security, and a clean, sustainable environment. More recently, the SBC has been contributing to serial crystallography, data analysis high-performance computing pipeline and SARS-CoV-2 research.

Funding Information

The SBC program is supported by the U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, through the Genomic Science program, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, under FWP PRJ1000333 and is operated for the DOE Office of Science at the Advanced Photon Source by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.