Small Angle X-ray Scattering in Structural Biology: A hands-on practical workshop


Date and Time 
November 6, 2017
10:00am to 4:00pm
Robin Li and Melissa Ma Science Library Training Room, Room 402
Event Sponsor 
SLAC/SSRL, Stanford ChEM-H and Stanford Libraries

The Structural Molecular Biology group at SSRL is holding a split four-day comprehensive workshop on the application of Small Angle X-ray Scattering and Diffraction techniques in structural biology research. The workshop will focus on all aspects of the experimental application of state-of-the-art synchrotron based solution X-ray scattering to biological macromolecules and macromolecular complexes. It is divided into three parts: one day of lectures detailing the basic theory and application of SAXS to structural biology research with a strong emphasis on practical aspects such as sample preparation and SAXS data collection strategies; a two-day session of hands-on data collection at the synchrotron beam line with the opportunity to collect SAXS data on your own sample; and one-day of hands-on data analysis tutorial covering all aspects of SAXS analysis from the basic data treatments  to advanced modeling methods and includes an open question and answer session to discuss specific problems of SAXS data analysis and modeling (depending on demand additional Q&A session might be scheduled subsequently).  For questions please contact Thomas Weiss (
Speakers: Thomas Weiss, Tsutomu Matsui and Ivan Rajkovic.
Sponsors: SLAC/SSRL, Stanford ChEM-H Macromolecular Structure Knowledge Center, and Stanford Libraries
Attendance limited to current students, faculty, and staff at Stanford.
Agenda for SAXS Workshop
Day 1: November 6, 2017 (10am – 4pm) - Lectures.  Location: Robin Li and Melissa Ma Science Library Training Room, Room 402.
The first day of the workshop will focus on the practical aspects of small angle scattering experiment as it applies to structural molecular biology research. In a set of lectures we will briefly introduce the basic SAXS theory, discuss some use cases within the field of structural biology research and give an overview of the different modes of SAXS data analysis and modelling. We will then elaborate on practical considerations that should be taken into account when preparing for SAXS experiment such as how to plan a successful SAXS experiment, best practices for sample preparation and what to expect at the beamline.
Day 2 - 3: November 20 – 21, 2017 (times will be arranged individually) - Data collection. Location: BL4-2 at SSRL
Day 2 and 3 of the workshop will be practical data collection at the BioSAXS beamline at SSRL in small groups. The experiment will be guided by BL4-2 staff going through every step of the experiment and initial analysis at the beamline. While standard SAXS samples will be available for practice the participants are encouraged to bring their own samples.
Day 4: December 4, 2017 (10am – 4pm) - Data Analysis and Q&A.  Location: Robin Li and Melissa Ma Science Library Training Room, Room 402
The day 4 of the SAXS workshop will focus on data analysis and modeling. We will discuss current state-of-the-art analysis approaches such as ab-initio modelling, rigid body and ensemble methods and how to decide which method would be the best fitting for a certain experimental situation. We will walk through the complete data analysis of a sample data set. Subsequently the participants will have the chance to work through the analysis of some provided sample data sets or use their own data for example the ones taken during day 2 and 3 of the workshop) with BL4-2 staff present for questions and advice.