Protein Characterization and Crystallization Facility (PCCF)

Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology College of Medicine


The Protein Characterization and Crystallization Facility (PCCF) was established in order to provide expanded support for researchers whose research requires or benefits from investigation of proteins in vitro. The concept of this facility is not only to assemble the instrumentation required for protein cloning and expression, purification, characterization and crystallization but also to assure the expertise to aid the researchers in all these steps. The facility has been established through funding from CFI and the College of Medicine. The immediate and primary users of PCCF are the members of the PRISM Centre. However, the PCCF is open to all U of S faculty within the available instrument and personnel capacity.
PCCF is geared toward the needs of PRISM members, predominantly biologists and biochemists, and is localized in the D-wing of the Health Sciences Building in close proximity to the majority of its current and potential users. The main emphasis of PCCF is on expanding the use of biophysical methods to study proteins. While the Ph.D.-level personnel will help with setting up the experiment, their more important contribution will be to help with interpretation of the resulting data. This is a key feature of PCCF since most users are not experts in the available techniques and may have difficulty in extracting meaningful information from the obtained data.
An important role of PCCF is to increase the level of collaboration between labs working on protein expression and characterization, and in particular to expand the application of structural biology methods in research carried at U of S. The presence of Canadian Light Source on the U of S campus gives a unique opportunity and advantage for structural biology research to the investigators.


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