Call for New Industry Beamline at ALS

Steve Hunter slhunter at
Wed Jun 7 14:37:28 EST 1995

(The following announcement is being posted on behalf of Dr. Thomas
Earnest and Dr. Sung-Hou Kim of the Structural Biology Division of
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.  The text refers to "enclosed data sheets." 
These are now available via fax (request by sending e-mail to
SLHunter at  They will be available online early next week on the
LBL WWW server.  A post will be made here, with the appropriate URL, when
they are ready.)


We have very good news about the Macromolecular Crystallography Facility
(MCF) at the Advanced Light Source (ALS).  The proposal we submitted to
the Department of Energy¹s Office of Health and Environmental Research
(OHER) brought a commitment of $3.85M in capital and $250K per year in
operating funds over the next two years. These funds, along with $500K
already committed by the University of California through LBL Director
Charles Shank, plus $200K previous committed by OHER, assure that we will
build the central crystallography beamline, including a wiggler, and one
endstation usable for monochromatic, Laue or MAD experiments. To those of
you who helped in the proposal effort, our deepest thanks.  The
community¹s contributions to the proposal helped in making the facility
user-friendly and highly automated.

The enclosed data sheets summarize the expected performance of the
beamline and endstations at MCF, and outline the fully-funded, structural
biology support facilities (SBSF) under construction at the ALS.  SBSF
will cover over 1000 m2 of laboratories and office space fully equipped
for users including computers for data reduction.  We expect to begin
operations in May 1996.

Our plans for the MCF call for building three endstations. Of these, one
side station is now allocated to private-sector users (PSUs) and others
who require proprietary, dedicated beamtime and rapid access, without
having to go through the proposal process.  These users will finance the
construction and operation of that endstation.  Because of the high
throughput of the facility and the reliable operation of the ALS, we
believe a consortium of such users could include slots for up to 10
organizations.  For example, each slot holder would be entitled to
approximately 60 shifts (8-hour each) of beamtime, distributed throughout
the year in agreed-upon increments, including rapid access slots. If a
pending DOE initiative is successful, allowing longer hours of operation
for the ALS, the beamtime may be substantially increased.  PSUs could
exchange up to one-third of their time on the side station for time on the
central Laue/MAD station.  These arrangements are an example, and the
actual allocations will be made by mutual agreement among the parties.

The following table shows the costs  in thousands of dollars by fiscal
year (Oct. 1­Sept. 31) for each of 10 slots for PSUs.  If fewer than 10
participate, the costs would be proportionately higher or scope reduced.

                   FY95  FY96  FY97  FY98  FY99  TOTAL ($K)
Capital             70    87    80                237
Operation           14    43    50    54    58    219
Cash Flow           84   130   130    54    58    456

Shifts/Slot               30    60    60    60

NB:  For proprietary use of the ALS, DOE charges approximately $100/hr.

To facilitate the consortium, we are hosting a meeting of potential
members on July 17, 1995. There we will present the Conceptual Design
Report for the facility and describe options at LBL for organization and
management (partnership, consortium, or nonprofit corporation) of the MCF.
The mechanism for the financial transactions and intellectual property
issues will also be discussed. The expected outcome will be an
organizational form and a financial mechanism for working together.

Our calendar between now and the start of work is as follows:

6/14/95  Submit Letters of Interest to LBL
7/17/95  Meeting at LBL
8/14/95  LBL and participants sign agreement
9/18/95  FY95 contributions due to LBL
5/96     First light to endstation

In order to ensure a high level of scientific success for this facility,
an executive advisory panel consisting of the following will advise the
MCF Group Leader and Structural Biology Division  Director on scientific
and technical issues, and future directions:

Donald Bilderback    CHESS
Wayne Hendrickson    Columbia University  
Brian Matthews       University of Oregon
David Matthews       Agouron Pharmaceuticals
Neville Smith        LBL ALS
Robert Stroud        UCSF
Edwin Westbrook0     ANL-SBC
Ian Wilson           RI of Scripps Clinic
Xuong Nguyen-huu     UCSD

We are gratified by the response of the community and look forward to
working with you and other members of the Structural Biology community to
develop the Macromolecular Crystallography Facility for science and
commerce. We invite individual visits to LBL at any time to discuss
opportunities for facility users.

Please submit Letters of Interest to Thomas Earnest by June 14, 1995, whom
you may contact with any questions or comments.

Thomas Earnest
Group Leader for the Macromolecular Crystallography Facility
Structural Biology Division
MS 80-101
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
Berkeley, CA  94720
TNEarnest at
510-486-7696 fax

Sung-Hou Kim
Director , Structural Biology Division
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
Berkeley, CA  94720

Steve Hunter                         Aesthetically concrete 
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory         has neither song nor 
SLHunter at                     any story.
                                       --Frank Lloyd Wright

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