Rice symposium to celebrate 100 years of crystallography


Mike Williams

Rice symposium to celebrate 100 years of crystallography 

HOUSTON – (Feb. 10, 2014) – Rice University and the Gulf Coast Consortia will host an all-day public symposium titled “International Year of Crystallography: Structure Matters” Feb. 14 at the BioScience Research Collaborative.

Experts in X-ray crystallography – the technique scientists use to determine the structure of matter at very small scales – will discuss the significance of the technology and how it’s used to visualize the structures of proteins, a critical step in the design of drugs to fight disease.

Speakers include George Phillips, the Ralph and Dorothy Looney Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Rice; Yizhi Jane Tao, an associate professor of biochemistry and cell biology at Rice; Choel Kim, an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine; John Spence, the Richard Snell Professor of Physics at Arizona State University and director of science for the National Science Foundation (NSF) BioXFEL Science and Technology Center; and Stephen Burley, professor and director of the Center for Integrative Proteomics Research at Rutgers University.

The program will begin at 9 a.m. with poster presentations and science exhibits for high school students.

Crystallography is being recognized by the United Nations on the 100th anniversary of the awarding of Nobel Prizes to its discoverers, German physicist Max von Laue and the father-son team of William Henry and William Lawrence Bragg. Rice researchers led by Phillips are part of the NSF’s BioXFEL consortium, founded last year and based at the University of Buffalo, to explore the use of strong X-ray lasers to detail the atomic structures of molecules with a resolution approaching the nanoscale.

The symposium is free and sponsored by the Gulf Coast Consortium (GCC) for Protein Crystallography, the Wiess School of Natural Sciences, the NSF BioXFEL Science and Technology Center and the Rigaku Corp.

Who:               Scientists, students and the public.

What:             “International Year of Crystallography: Structure Matters.”

When:            Friday, Feb. 14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where:           Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative, 6500 Main St.

Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Mike Williams in News and Media Relations at mikewilliams@rice.edu or 713-348-6728.


An agenda and registration information are available at the symposium website, http://gcc.rice.edu/2014_Crystallography_Symposium.aspx

This media advisory can be found online at news-network.rice.edu/news.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/AboutRiceU. 

About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.