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Integrated Structural Biology Grenoble
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High Throughput Crystallisation

EMBL Grenoble operates the High Throughput Crystallization Facility (HTX lab), a large scale user facility offering HT crystallography services. Since the start of operations in 2003 the HTX lab has provided services to over 800 scientists and processes more than 1000 samples per year. The HTX lab has a strong focus in the development of new methods in macromolecular crystallography, including methods for sample evaluation and quality control ( Dupeux et al., 2011. Acta Cryst. D67,Mariaule et al., 2014Methods in Molecular Biology1091) and the CrystalDirect technology, enabling fully automated crystal mounting and processing (Cipriani & Marquez 2012 Acta Cryst. D68, 1393–1399 ; Zander et al. (2016) Acta Cryst. D72, 454-466). The HTX lab has also developed the Crystallization Information Management System (CRIMS), a web-based laboratory information system that provides automated communication between crystallization and synchrotron data collection facilities, enabling uninterrupted information flow over the whole sample cycle from pure protein to diffraction data. This software is currently in operation in multiple laboratories across Europe. Through the combination of the CrystalDirect technology and the CRIMS software the HTX lab has developed the concept of Online Crystallography : Fully automated, remote controlled crystallography pipelines integrating crystallization screening, crystal optimization, crystal mounting and cryo-cooling and automated X-ray data collection (at ESRF, PETRA III and SLS synchrotrons) into continuous workflows controlled though dedicated web interfaces. This approach minimizes the delay between crystal growth and measurement, accelerating the progression of very challenging projects. The CrystalDirect technology also enables automated crystal soaking making it possible to support automated, large scale small molecule and Fragment Screening through crystallography efficiently and in a short time.

Currently we offer access to the following pipelines :
• Online Crystallography
• Small molecule screening (focused libraries)
• Large scale, automated fragment screening


Structural Biology, High Throughput crystallization, Crystallography, Fragment screening, small molecules, automation, data management, technology development, technology transfer, Services to industry.


Head of facility Jose A. Marquez (mail to marquez
Platform (mail to htx
Dedicated staff
• Anne-Sophie Humm (technician)
• Guillaume Hoffmann (technician)
• Peter Murphy (software engineer)
• Irina Cornaciu (Scientist)
• Jose A. Marquez (Head of Facility)

Specific equipment

TTP-Labtech nanovolume crystalliaation robot with LCP module, high-capacity Tecan robotic liquid handling station, Fomulator-16 system for automated preparation of optimization screens, 2 x 1000 plate crystallization imaging robots (10 and 4 deg, Vis and UV imaging), Labcyte ECHO acoustic dispensing system, CrystalDirect harvesting robot, cryogenic crystal storage systems. User dedicated Laboratory facilities.

Access mode
Open access to PSB members
Funded access through iNEXT discovery and Instruct. For information please contact (mailto marquez
Industry access, please contact (mail to marquez


Please contact (mailto marquez


CIBB 120, CIBB 117, CIBB S05

How to make a request

Register at ; for non PSB members, please contact (mailto marquez for information on access opportunities.


Users must acknowledge the platform in their publications : “This work was supported by access to the HTX lab facility at EMBL and the PSB. “
In the methods section please include the following phrase.
Crystallization experiments were carried out at the High Throughput Crystallisation Laboratory (HTX Lab) of the EMBL Grenoble (cite ref 1). Sample quality was evaluated through the thermal stability assay as described in (cite ref 2). Crystals were prepared for x-ray diffraction experiments using the CrytalDirect technology (Cite reference 3)

If you received funding from iNEXT include the following phrase in the acknowledgements section :
“The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme H2020 under iNEXT (H2020 Grant # 653706)”

ref 1 :
Nazzareno Dimasi, David Flot, Florine Dupeux, and José A. Márquez
Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun. 2007 March 1 ; 63(Pt3) : 204–208.

Ref2 :
A thermal stability assay can help to estimate the crystallization likelihood of biological samples
Dupeux et al., 2011. Acta Cryst. D67, 915-919

Ref 3 :
Automated harvesting and processing of protein crystals through laser photoablation
Zander, U., Hoffmann, G., ... & Marquez, J. A.
(2016). Acta Cryst. D72, 454-466.

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