NextGenBioXray - Next-generation X-ray platform for integrative structural biology

The NextGen BioXray platform is an initiative for the sustainable development of key technologies in Graz. The aim is to combine established and complementary research priorities in the field of structural biology research in an integrative approach through the coordinated acquisition of biological crystallography and SAXS infrastructure of the next generation and thus to build the bridge "from the atom / molecule to the patient" and vice versa. Structural biology is an essential approach in biomedical, clinical and biotechnology research to decipher the molecular basis of biochemical processes. The spatial structures of biomolecules, which regulate these processes in the cell, are elucidated by means of X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, or cryo-EM with up to atomic resolution. The goal is to identify characteristic changes in biomolecular structures and interactions, to elucidate basic mechanisms and to make predictions for the detection, progression and treatment of diseases. The challenge, however, is to capture a variety of biomolecules and biomolecular complexes in solution as well as in the crystal with the highest possible sensitivity. The aim of the project is the establishment of a platform for integrative structural biology research in Graz through the coordinated acquisition and start-up of combined infrastructure for X-ray structure analysis (XRD in crystal, SAXS in solution) with the best possible sensitivity on the side of the X-ray source and the detectors (Modules 1 & 2). Thus, these recently developed technologies enable for the first time the structural and dynamic investigations of challenging, dynamic, and unstable biomolecules and biomolecular complexes in-house. For all stable biomolecules, structural data can be obtained in a fraction of the time currently required. This system is therefore of particular interest to all ongoing projects in the field of biomedical research, biotechnology, as well as drug development and evaluation. The initiative builds on the long-standing and complementary expertise of research groups in the field of biological X-ray analysis within the framework of the BioTechMed-Graz network of MUG, TUG, and UG. For this purpose, we bundle our available expertise and infrastructure in structural biology research, and method development. The research groups are involved in numerous national and international research projects and can refer to many years of cooperation and joint publication activities. As this infrastructure will be the first of its kind in Austria and neighbouring regions, all available technologies and developments will be available to interested researchers in cooperation, strengthening existing large-scale projects and networks, opening up new scientific ground and new applications.

Duration of Project:

1.1.2019 - 31.12.2023


ÖFG - Austrian Academy of Science


Peter Macheroux
Univ.-Prof. Dr.rer.nat.
+43 316 873 - 6450