Photo of Mark Chance
Mark Chance

Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences wins AAMC Award for Resource Sharing

CWRU’s Mark Chance, director, to lead webinar today describing the project

The Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences has been awarded second prize in the 2017 Sharing Research Resources Award by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). According to the AAMC, “award winners demonstrate successful sharing of research resources between institutions and campuses, including medical schools, teaching hospitals, and other academic institutions.”

The center, located at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, has helped hundreds of principal investigators and thousands of researchers around the world determine the structure and elucidate the functions of biological macromolecules (such as nucleic acids and proteins) by providing access to highly complex and expensive synchrotron x-ray beamlines. These experts have published over 2,000 scientific papers since the center opened in 1994.

A synchrotron is a circular particle accelerator about the size of a football field in which electrons are deflected through magnetic fields, creating X-rays billions of times brighter than conventional hospital X-rays. Beamlines (long passageways) are constructed to direct the X-rays to an experimental workstation, where they are used for research. The extreme brightness of the X-rays allows scientists to research the structure of matter at the atomic level.

“We are honored to have been recognized by the AAMC for our work,” said the center’s director, Mark Chance, vice dean for research at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. “The center’s core values are scientific excellence and team play. Helping researchers discover the molecular details of macromolecules that control cellular function is essential for understanding the makeup of the body and its operations. Researchers using the Case Center can apply their findings in numerous ways for helping maintain health and treat disease. Their work is very high impact and their interactions with Center faculty and staff represent high-value collaborations.”

In addition to offering access to advanced technology, the center provides training and support operations that enable users to conduct their research independently. The center is also a tool for education via peer-reviewed publications, presentations, workshops and the PhD thesis work of numerous students.

The first prize Award for Resource Sharing was given to Boston University’s Center for Regenerative Medicine’s Open Source Biology project, while Emory University’s Integrated Core Facilities project received third prize.

Chance and the other two directors will provide details on their work and answer questions about the winning projects with the larger AAMC community via the Sharing Research Resources Webinar today (Oct. 16) from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Get more information and register for the webinar.

Collaborating institutions with the Case Center include Brookhaven National Laboratories and the National Synchrotron Light Source-II, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, and the University of Massachusetts. Funds for the construction and operation of the Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences have been provided by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. The National Synchrotron Light Source-II at Brookhaven is supported by the Department of Energy.