Guidelines and Fees
In the Structural Biology Laboratory, users — from beginners to experts — are provided the necessary training, advice and resources to carry out their own experiments. This includes assistance with supplies and instruments, protein expression, purification, crystallization, structure determination, model building and refinement, drug discovery, and paper and grant writing.
All projects in the lab are collaborations between investigators and Georges Mer, Ph.D., lab director. Dr. Mer provides scientific guidance and expertise throughout all lab projects.
The laboratory's focus is on teaching and enabling investigators to do hands-on X-ray crystallography work themselves, as well as on developing long-term relationships — it's common for projects to run for one to four years — that are supported by, or have the potential to be supported by, grant funding.
The lab works with investigators from both Mayo Clinic and other academic institutions and commercial entities.
The Structural Biology Laboratory operates with annual contracts, with a yearly fee being assessed for each collaborative project. A "project" is defined as the research contained in one National Institutes of Health R01 grant budget. Fees support mentoring, lab maintenance and repair, administration, and the purchase of nonconsumable supplies used by everyone.
Projects may produce multiple crystal structures revolving around one hypothesis or closely linked hypotheses. Annual contracts may be paused — with laboratory access suspended — when necessary to allow time to generate supportive research, funding or manuscripts.
For new projects, a greatly reduced fee for access is available until preliminary X-ray diffraction data suitable for grant applications is obtained. Overall, Structural Biology Lab costs are very affordable and, when compared with similar crystallography facilities around the country, quite low.
Research collaborations also include access to automation, instrumentation and effort in the University of Minnesota's Nanoliter Crystallization Facility, as well as occasional use of the university's Kahlert Structural Biology Laboratory, which was funded in part through the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics.
To request more information or schedule an initial consultation, contact Dr. Mer.