What's New at CCP4

Maeri Howard, CCP4, CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory,
Warrington WA4 4AD



1. Staff changes


CCP4 continues to expand the number of people funded to work on associated projects. The most recent addition is Nick Furnham, located at Cambridge, who will be working on a restraint based conformational search engine called RAPPER. Nick is already busy on the conference scene as he has been asked to give a 30 min presentation entitled “Explorations in Conformational Space: Revealing Inaccuracy and Heterogeneity in Crystal Structures.” at the ACA in Hawaii (Abstract can be found at http://www.hwi.buffalo.edu/ACA/ACA06/abstracts/S0102.html) .    


CCP4 also bids goodbye to Dan Rolfe, who is leaving the group after eighteen months. Dan is not going far (in fact, he is going two buildings away!) as he will now be working with Dr. Marisa Martin-Fernandez, tracking fluorescents and molecules.  We wish Dan the best of luck at his new post.


2.   CCP4 Version 6.0


CCP4 staff had a very busy winter, making the next major release for the suite.  More information on this can be found in the article What’s New in CCP4 6.0.”


3. Workshops and Conferences


CCP4 continues to place conferences and workshops high on our list of ways in which to make contact with the user community and 2006 looks to be our busiest year ever. A listing of upcoming conferences can be found at http://www.ccp4.ac.uk/ccp4course.php  with more detailed information found below.


Study Weekend 2006 continues to go from strength to strength as each year we have more and more attendees – allowing us to confirm its important place in the PX calendar of events. The topic this year “Crystallography of Complexes” was held the 5th – 7th of January at the University of Leeds and saw over 500 students attend the talks.  Almost all of the talks from Study Weekend will be published later this year in a special edition of Acta D. 


This year CCP4 also distributed a questionnaire to those that attended the Study Weekend.  The purpose of the questionnaire was to get information from the users of the suite to help us establish a user profile as well as to get general feedback on the suite. We had 335 users return the questionnaire (a return rate of 62%) which we feel was a healthy return rate and one that allowed us to have good data to work with. The full report on the questionnaire can be found here.


Study Weekend 2007 will be held at the University of Reading 05 – 06 January 2007. The University of Reading is a familiar venue as Study Weekend 2005 was held there.  The scientific organisers will be Garib Murshudov (York) and Frank von Delft (Oxford) and the topic will be Molecular Replacement.  Registration will begin

18 September via the CCP4 website and the announcement will include important changes in the way that payment is made for attendance at Study Weekend.


BCA and the University of Lancaster Francois Remacle and Norman Stein attended the 24th annual British Crystallographic Association spring meeting at Lancaster University on 4th and 5th April 2006. They presented posters on Developments in CCP4 Version 6.0 and CCP4 Automation, which attracted a good level of interest. There was time to attend many of the invited talks, notably the plenary session in which Larry De Lucas (University of Alabama) described his experiences growing protein crystals under microgravity, while aboard the US space shuttle. 


ACA 2006 -  Honolulu, Hawaii: CCP4 will again be in attendance at the ACA . Due to the volume of other conferences/workshops going on over the year, we have decided to give our workshop a rest this year. But please stop by stand 601 to speak to either Peter Briggs or Ronan Keegan, who will be representing CCP4 at the meeting in Hawaii, see:  http://www.xray.chem.ufl.edu/aca2006/index.html  


ECM  - Leuven, Belgium: CCP4 was lucky enough to secure one of the last spaces available at the ECM conference venue so we will be there!  We can be found at Stand 23 from the 6th – 11th of August http://www.ecm23.be/Generalnformation.html  - Martyn Winn, Ronan Keegan, Francois Remacle and Wendy Yang will be on the stand to answer any CCP4 questions.


CCP4 Roadshows are a new addition to our promotions schedule.  Since February of this year, CCP4 have visited five different labs located around the UK for one day workshops on the suite. The format for the visits have been very positively received and include talks in the morning on various aspects of the suite and then hands-on sessions to deal with specific questions later in the afternoon. The last of the visits took place at the end of June at the University of Nottingham.  We look forward to resuming the roadshows after the summer holidays and will be posting the schedule of visit at our website.


Financially supported workshops: CCP4 continues to support a number of workshops throughout the UK, Europe and North America by providing funds towards the cost of the workshop.  Some of the workshops that have received funding this year include: Gordon Conference, Refmac Workshop in Barcelona, South West Structural Biology Meeting and the Protein Structure Workshop at Galashiels.


Future workshops include our first ever Chinese workshop to be held in Beijing at the Chinese Academy of Sciences from the 27th – 29th of October. The three day workshop will cover topics such as Molecular Replacement as well as Refinement.


We will also be having a five day workshop from 27 November to 1 December in Osaka, Japan, covering all aspects of the structural solution process. Speakers include Kevin Cowtan, Phil Evans, Garib Murshudov, Paul Emsley,  Roberto Steiner and Eugene Krissinel

4. Digitisation of CCP4 proceedings: All Study Weekend proceedings, pre ActaD, are now available digitally!  CCP4 Study Weekend Conference Proceedings are now all publicly available online at CCLRC's ePubs institutional repository.  http://epubs.cclrc.ac.uk/


You can pull up all 13 internally-published conference proceedings (plus a few other papers relating to CCP4) by simply searching for "CCP4". From these results you can drill down for more information on the specific paper and print the document you require.