The New York Structural Biology Center (NYSBC) was formed in 1999 by a consortium of New York’s preeminent biomedical research institutions to address a common problem– how to stay abreast of latest-generation instrumentation required by world-class researchers and remain competitive nationally. The consortium’s objective was to provide advanced instrumentation in structural biology – a field concerned with the three-dimensional structure of proteins and nucleic acids. The NYSBC focused initially on magnetic resonance spectrometers (NMRs) and then added X-ray, electron microscopy and high-throughput protein production capabilities.
Building and Expanding NYSBC
In 2002, the NYSBC opened at 89 Convent Avenue on the campus of the City College of New York, with four high-field NMRs at 800MHz. Subsequent grant awards enabled the purchase two more NMRs at 900 MHz and expansion of the original 22,000 s.f. facility (Phase 1) with a new 12,000 s.f. wing (Phase 2).
An opportunity arose in 2003, when the Howard Hughes Medical Institute offered the X4A beamline for X-Ray Crystallography at the National Synchrotron Light Source at the Brookhaven National Laboratory to NYSBC. NYSBC assumed ownership and operation of X4A in Sept. 2003; a second beamline, X4C, was since brought on line.
A major grant from the New York Office of Science Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR), enabled the NYSBC to create a cryo-electron microscopy program with the purchase of three state-of-the-art microscopes and the construction of another 8,000 s.f. wing (Phase 3).
With advanced research resources in all three areas of structural biology, the NYSBC unique facilities, strategically positioned to make major advances in this important field.
Today, NYSBC continues to expand with new state-of-the art equipment in the fields of NMR, X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy and protein production. What began as an experiment in local cooperation has proven to be a successful competitive strategy enabling the NYSBC to become a world center for structural biology.