2009 ISBC Overview

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.

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