DESY Beamline

Partners: EMBL Hamburg; Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron, Hamburg

The EMBL Outstation in Hamburg was established in 1974 on the site of the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) to use synchrotron radiation for structural biology. Building on their 30-year track record of successful cooperation, DESY and EMBL formalised a new interdisciplinary partnership for the future - looking to provide new generations of top quality infrastructures for life science applications in May 2004. A key component to the collaboration is the plan to upgrade the current beamline facilities to provide state-of-the-art services. The agreement confirmed the mutual commitment for building beamlines for life sciences applications on the new PETRA-III synchrotron, which went into operation in 2009. The first EMBL-operated beamline, for small angle X-ray scattering, was made available at the end of 2010 and further beamlines for protein crystallography will follow in 2011.

A new Centre for Structural Systems Biology will be established on the DESY campus in Hamburg, Germany, bringing together more than 10 research organisations, universities and EMBL. The German federal and regional governments are providing 50 million Euro to build a state-of-the-art facility on the campus of the German synchrotron in Hamburg; start of operations is planned for 2012/2013. The centre will use integrated structural biology for research related to infectious diseases and will look to develop ways to maximise the potential of the European X-ray Free Electron Laser (European XFEL) has for biology following its completion in 2014.