The High-Throughput Crystallization Screening Center

The Crystallization Center supports industry, academic, government, and non-profit research institutes, providing unique crystallization resources for structural biology. Our methods have generated lead crystallization conditions for approximately half of all samples submitted and provided solubility phase information across 1,536 different chemical conditions – information that can guide optimization and troubleshoot recalcitrant systems. Since its began operations in February 2000, the Crystallization Center has set up over 25 million crystallization experiments on more than 18,000 biological macromolecules for almost 2,000 laboratories worldwide. Crystallization experiments are monitored with state-of-the-art imaging techniques, empowering the detection of crystals that other techniques miss. Our academic, government, and non-profit services are subsidized by NIH and NSF.

Crystallization Screening at HWI provides:

  • Expert staff – Dr. Sarah Bowman has directed the Center for three years and works with scientific staff that have been operating the Center for close to two decades.
  • State-of-the-art instrumentation – Brightfield (visual), second-order harmonic, and UV-two photon excited fluorescence techniques in a Rock Imager 1000 with SONICC are used, so no crystal is missed.
  • Timely access – Runs are scheduled in advance on a monthly basis with multiple setup windows.
  • A history of success – The Center has worked with academic, non-profit, government and industry users, and has screened over 18,000 proteins for close to 2,000 laboratories worldwide.
  • Confidentiality – Information will not be publicly disclosed regarding any sample received for crystallization trials without the express written consent of the investigator(s).

Information for Upcoming Crystallization Screening

Deadlines and Dates

Updated 11/20/2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the HWI Crystallization Center is active and able to support your scientific efforts, both on COVID-19 related projects and the crystallization of other targets.  We are running a slightly extended run for December!

December Soluble Run

  • Reservation Deadline: Friday Dec 4th
  • Package Acceptance: Tues Dec 8th – Tues Dec 22nd
  • Plate Setup:
    • Tues Dec 8th – Thurs Dec 10th
    • Mon Dec 14th – Thurs Dec 17th
    • Mon Dec 21st – Tues Dec 22nd

Samples are not set up on Fridays

How It Works

Check the run schedule and reserve a spot in the queue for an upcoming high-throughput crystallization screening run (see the buttons above). 

1,536 non-redundant crystallization conditions are used to screen your sample using the microbatch-under-oil method, providing an efficient sampling of chemical parameter space.  Each condition is imaged using state-of-the-art Formulatrix Rock Imagers over a period of six weeks. Imaging modalities include visual (brightfield) and Second-Order Non-linear Imaging of Chiral Crystals (SONICC), which includes Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) and UV-Two Photon Excited Fluorescence (UV-TPEF) imaging. SHG and UV-TPEF imaging can identify biological crystals not picked up visually or those obscured by precipitate. Brightfield, SHG, and UV-TPEF images are integrated with analysis software provided as part of the crystallization screening service.

The Crystallization Center Produces Results

Publications Citing the Crystallization Center

Crystallization Center Staff

Dr. Sarah EJ Bowman: Director (3 years)

Angela Lauricella: Research Technician (18 years)

Stephen Potter: Director of Information Technology (20+ years)

Nate Michals: System Administrator

HWI Co-Investigators:

Dr. Edward Snell, Dr. Miranda Lynch

External Collaborators:

Dr. Lisa Keefe, Dr. Aina Cohen

User Announcements

MacroscopeJ & macOS Upgrades

The new version of MacroscopeJ is compatible with Catalina macOS and is in your ftp folder when you transfer images – please let us know if you have any issues!

Please note that macOS 11.0 ‘Big Sur’ is due out this year, and will have entirely new hardware architecture. We recommend that users hold off on upgrading to macOS 11.0 immediately so that we can update our software accordingly.

Accessing your images via the ftp server

Because of recent changes for both Mac and Windows OS, we recommend using FileZilla to access and transfer imagers from the ftop servers, as it works across platforms.

For more details: Analyze Your Results

Physical address

High-Throughput Crystallization Screening Center
Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute
700 Ellicott Street
Buffalo, NY 14203


General Inquiries: htslab@hwi.buffalo

Crystallization Center Director (Dr. Sarah EJ Bowman):
Follow us on Twitter: @getacrystal