ISBC 2009

The International School on Biological Crystallisation was held in Granada (Spain) during May 25-29th, 2009 under the auspices of the International Union of Crystallography through the Commission of Crystal Growth. ISBC2009 focused has on the fundamentals of crystallisation from solutions and its applications to the field of biological materials including biological macromolecules, biominerals, biomimetic materials, membrane proteins and large macromolecular complexes.

ISBC covered five days of lectures and practical demonstrations carried out by 28 selected experts in the field of crystallisation of biological macromolecules and biomineralisation.

The first day of the School dealt with the fundamentals of crystallisation from solution to protein crystals; covering a wide range of topics from how to purify proteins, through the physicochemical properties of solutions, nucleation and light scattering theories, to finish with crystal growth techniques and handling of protein crystals.

The second day of the School was devoted to the crystallisation of large crystals, complexes and membrane proteins.

The third day of the School was dedicated to a ‘Demonstration Fair’, at which 15 specialists offered short (20-40 minutes) practical sessions periodically at scheduled times. Participants were able to choose what sessions they wanted to attend and in the order they wished, so that they selected their own learning programme “a la carte”. The Demonstrations’ Fair proved to be an excellent teaching tool as it provided students with plenty of opportunities to interact on a personal basis with the teachers and to watch closely how to perform crystallisation experiments.

The fourth day focused on the field of biomineralisation and the publishing of results. Finally, the last day was used to include a forward look at other topics beyond structural biology such as protein crystallisation in large scale and a round table discussion.


A total of 111 participants from 18 different countries came to ISBC2009.

Students from 17 different countries attended the School to learn from selected international experts, to hear practical case study presentations, to watch practical hand-on demonstrations, to participate in round-table discussions and to present their research results in the dedicated poster session. From the 54 students who attended the School, 30 were granted.


  • Alexander McPherson, University of California, Riverside (USA).
  • Martin Caffrey, University of Limerick (Ireland).
  • Song Tan, Center for Gene Regulation, Penn State University (USA).
  • Peter Vekilov, University of Houston, TX (USA).
  • Juan Manuel García-Ruiz, CSIC – Universidad de Granada (Spain).
  • Jeroen Mesters, University of Lüebeck (Germany).
  • Ivana Kuta Smatanova, University of South Bohemia (Czech Republic).
  • Joe Ng, University of Alabama, Huntsville (USA).
  • José Luis Arias, University of Santiago de Chile (Chile).
  • Hudel Luecke, University of California Irvine (USA).
  • Pavlina Rezacova, University of Prague (Czech Republic).
  • Howard Einspahr, IUCr Journal Comission (USA).
  • Yves Nys, Institute National de la Recherche Avicole, Nouzilly (France).
  • Giuseppe Fallini, University of Bolonia (Italy).
  • José Antonio Gavira Gallardo, CSIC – University of Granada (Spain).
  • Jaime Gómez Morales, CSIC-University of Granada (Spain).
  • Estela Pineda, CSIC-University of Granada (Spain).
  • Carlos Tornero, EMBL, Heidelberg (Germany).
  • Carola Hunte, University of Leeds (UK).
  • Karsten Diersk, University of Hamburg (Germany).
  • Monika Budayova, UJF-EMBL-CNRS, Grenoble (France).
  • Kalevi Visuri, MACROCRYSTAL OY (Finland).
  • Claude Sauter, IBMC-CNRS, Strasbourg (France).

Poster prizes

Poster sessions rounded out each of the days and proved to be a very valuable time in order to discuss the scientific work. Of all the 35 posters presented, 4 poster prizes were awarded: International Tables of Crystallography offered by the IUCr and a book on Fractal Harmony and several crystallization devices offered by ‘La Factoria’.

ISBC 2009 Poster Prizes
Prize Beneficiary Country
IUCr Prize Anita Hoffmann Germany
IUCr Prize Bilal Qureshi Germany
La Factoría Prize Rafael Fernández Leiro Spain
La Factoría Prize Rossana García Fernández Cuba