Structural biology in the next two decades aims to integrate structural knowledge at different resolution levels into specific cellular contexts, with a temporal component, to underpin biomedical issues. This challenge requires the seamless integration of techniques providing information in different resolution ranges. INSTRUCT will link the information obtained by the major structural biology methods with state-of-the-art cell biology techniques to provide a dynamic picture of key cellular processes at all scales.
INSTRUCT comprises a dynamic distributed infrastructure of complementary Core, Associate and National Affiliated Centres of excellence open to external user access and driving technical innovation: Core Centres will provide European access of ~20% of total activity to a range of state-of-the-art structural biology technologies and integrative biological approaches and expertise, often offering access to a ‘pipeline’ of related technologies; Associate Centres will offer specialised technologies or services complementary to that provided by Core Centres and essential to the development of integrative structural biology, for example protein production, mass spectrometry, software development; and National Affiliated Centres are centres of excellence that provide additional opportunities for access to specific structural biology technologies.
INSTRUCT will stimulate the development of innovative technologies by European companies and their effective uptake by both academic and industrial researchers in Europe. European structural biology equipment manufacturers are amongst the foremost in the world. INSTRUCT offers them an opportunity to work with the best researchers in Europe to develop and test the next generation of equipment. The European pharmaceutical industry is already a major user of synchrotron beamlines. INSTRUCT will provide a straightforward route for industry to access all structural biology technologies in order to facilitate a more integrative approach to drug discovery that will enhance the competitiveness of European pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. INSTRUCT will be ideally placed to act as a forum, drawing together European scientists and other relevant European organisations and activities to develop new approaches, harmonised protocols and standards for data management systems that integrate structural information across technical platforms and across Europe.
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