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In the context of the EU-LAC ResInfra project, Instruct-ERIC opened a staff exchange call to allow researchers from Latin American institutions to visit European facilities. The call invited researchers from any Latin American institution which has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Instruct-ERIC to submit an application to utilise the equipment and machineries available at Instruct’s European centres.

Three researchers were selected and they will be visiting Instruct-ERIC facilities, accessing the equipment and sharing best practices and guidance with the host institutions to further advance research and understanding not only of the structural biology techniques but also of the procedures to allow open access to the infrastructure. 

Robeto Kopke Salinas of University of Sao Paulo (USP-Brazil) will be visiting the Bijvoet Centre at Instruct-NL Utrecht University (UU), utilising the highly sensitive Bruker NMR Spectrometers for analysis of the Type IV Secretion System (T4SS) of the phytopathogen Xanthomonas citri.

Leonardo Alonso of University of Buenos Aires (UBA – Chile) is to visit EMBL-Hamburg, to access the mass spectrometry facilities at the Instruct Centre. The team have been studying deamidation of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein, and are seeking to determine which deamidations occur and what their functional significance is.

Alejandro Buschiazzo of Institut Pasteur Montevideo (IPMontevideo- Uruguay) will visit The Instruct Image Processing Centre (I2PC) In Madrid, Spain, with the specific aim of training in Cryo-EM techniques. Buschiazzo’s lab at IPMontevideo currently conducts macromolecular X-ray crystallography, but is keen to incorporate Cryo-EM as a key technique available at the facility. 

The aim of all three staff exchanges is to share knowledge that would be crucial to the plans to set up regional access centres for structural biology in Latin America.

To know more about the specific aims of these exchanges, please click here.