Updated at: 06/12/2013 at 11:26 am
CSIRO’s Collaborative Crystallisation Centre (C3) is a technology platform which enables the growth of the crystals which are required to obtain atomic-level protein structures via X-ray diffraction techniques.
The C3 facility has recently been awarded ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA).
“This makes C3 the first macromolecular crystallisation and characterisation R&D facility in the world to achieve this level of operation,” said the C3 facility Director, Dr Janet Newman, who is passionate about standardising the experimental approach to protein crystallisation and structure determination. Dr Newman has been critical in developing the infrastructure and associated web-tools since the centre launched in 2006.
CSIRO Scientist, Dr Shane Seabrook, directed the accreditation process with NATA’s Jenny Pyke; “The certification ensures compliance with laboratory testing and calibration standards and means that all tests are conducted by a highly trained operator with as much robustness and traceability as physically and mentally possible,” said Dr Seabrook. “It means we can provide confidential and secure delivery and archiving of test results to our clients.”
“The C3 web-tools are an essential component of our infrastructure and provide our clients with easy access and visibility to the experimental process. The C3 is differentiated from similar centres by its impressive suite of internet based software (web-tools).” he said.
The C3 has close ties with the Australian Synchrotron, more than 200 users from 25 local, national and international academic and commercial research groups, and has conducted more than 2.2 million unique experiments. It has recently expanded its services to include protein formulation screening.
The C3 is a not-for-profit facility which is fully supported by the Materials Science and Engineering division of CSIRO and is a member of the Victorian Platform Technologies Network.