Training the Scientists of the Future

One of the goals of the Macromolecular Crystallography (MC) group is to actively train and educate the next generation of scientists through Workshops, Summer Schools, Conference Lectures, Internship Programs and one-on-one mentoring at the beamline stations. Training typically consists of lectures, hands-on experiments, data analysis and interpretation of results. Novice and experienced users are trained in the optimal use of the X-ray beamlines, particularly when new instrumentation and/or new emerging methodologies are first implemented. Each year, the MC group hosts multiple local and remote workshops, provides more than 30 conference lectures, and mentors a large group of summer interns.

Use the navigation bar to the left or keep reading to find out how you can take part in one of our workshops or other educational opportunities.

Internship Programs

The Macromolecular Crystallography group at SSRL/SLAC accepts summer interns each year who are mentored by staff members and trained in crystallography methods, engineering, and software development.

Projects cover all aspects of structural biology research including engineering and design of new experimental equipment, protein crystallization, development of new macromolecular crystallography data collection methods, determining novel structures of enzymes and drug targets, applied artificial intelligence, website development, and control system automation.

High School girls that are interested in learning about scientific careers are encouraged to apply for the SAGE Summer Camp held each summer at SLAC.

The Macromolecular Crystallography group promotes women and minorities in science and receives interns through the following local (Direct Hires and STEM) and several National Programs though SLAC. Some of the internship opportunities including direct hires, local stem core, and SLAC laboratory programs are described below.

Direct Hires

The Macromolecular Crystallography (MC) Group directly hires undergraduate and graduate students as temporary employees at Stanford University. The primary goal of the MC internship program is to provide students with real-world research experience in the area of protein crystallography, engineering and/or software development. Work hours, duration, etc. are flexible, however, we encourage students to start as early in the summer as possible to maximize the availability of the X-ray synchrotron facility which closes each year for upgrades in early summer. Students should have taken science or engineering or related courses and must be 18 years of age at time of their start date. Positions are posted on the Stanford Careers web site when project funding is available.

Local STEM Core

In an effort to help students entering community colleges with developing math, computer, and communication skills to pursue high-wage careers in technical fields such as bio-tech and engineering, Growth Sector, in collaboration with community colleges, foundations and employers such as SSRL, has created a new, innovative pathway to engineering and computer science opportunities. With support from government agencies and foundations, Growth Sector serves as a catalyst in developing career pathways in bio-tech, energy, teaching and engineering. The “STEM Core” model, now being implemented at several community colleges in California has shown success in readying students for internships, jobs and transfers to B.S. degree programs.

For more information, visit the Growth Sector website.

The Macromolecular Crystallography (MC) group at SSRL/SLAC trains about 2+ local STEM interns each year. Currently, applications to the Macromolecular Crystallography STEM Internship Program are submitted through the STEM programs at each individual college.

See for example, STEM at Ohlone College

Laboratory Programs through SLAC and the Department of Energy (DOE)

The MC group accepts about 5 interns through other DOE sponsored internship programs:
Abdul-Raheem Adeleke, an intern taking part in the DOE-EERE Robotics Internship Program, helped develop new software for automated alignment of a single crystal UV-Vis microspectrophotometer at SSRL beam line 9-2.


The Macromolecular Crystallography group members mentor, educate and actively train about 150 researchers each year through traveling workshops, basic data collection and processing workshops and specialty workshops with lectures and hands-on training when new beamline instrumentation or other new methodologies become available.

RapiData Workshops

The RapiData workshop, held yearly, is an intense 6-day course concentrated on macromolecular x-ray crystallography data collection, data processing and structure solving methods and techniques. The aim of this workshop is to educate and train young scientists in data collection and data processing methods at synchrotron beam lines, using state-of-the-art software and instrumentation. Participants are encouraged to bring their own samples for data collection, as well as previously measured data for processing and structure solution.

Register or learn more about RapiData Workshops

Specialty Workshops

Traveling Workshops and Webinars

A number of workshops are held each year in remote locations to train scientists in the use of the SSRL beamline stations. Participants learn the practical aspects of crystal preparation and shipment to SSRL, remote data collection and data processing. Travelig workshops have also covered other x-ray techniques including small-angle x-ray sattering and x-ray absorption spectroscopy. Because we can bring these workshops on the road we can often reach underrepresented groups in science. Traveling workshops have been held in New York, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Australia. In addition to traveling workshops, SSRL scientists organize training webinars to interested groups of users. If you are interested in hosting a traveling workshop or webinar please contact us.

Specialty workshops are primarily designed to disseminate and train new users as well as experienced users in new methods and new beamline instrumentation when they first become available. Specialty workshops have included robotic sample mounting, nano-crystallization, single crystal UV-Vis spectroscopy and several other crystallography-related methods and complementary techniques.

Metals in Biology Workshop

An annual Metals in Biology workshop is offered during the SSRL/LCLS Users Conference. X-rays are particularly suited to the study of metalloenzymes, including the identification of metals in proteins and the detailed characterization of their local environment. Crystallography can provide information about the metal active site structure often to high resolution. X-ray spectroscopy offers even more details about the electronic nature and first coordination sphere of metal active sites. However, the use of these methods to study metals can pose difficulties, such as the reduction of the metal and subsequent change in the coordination environment. To tackle many of these challenges, specialized equipment to aid in the study of metalloenzyme structure is available at SSRL structural biology beam lines.


The Macromolecular Crystallography group members present lectures and scientific talks at local, national and internaltional meetings, conferences, summer schools and workshops - about 30 each year - providing information about experimental techniques, the beamline stations, new instrumentation and new methodology implementations.

Conferences and Summer Schools

MC group members provide a large number of scientific lectures at conferences and in school settings, covering a host of topics that have included X-ray diffraction techniques, robotic sample handling, remote access, automated piplelines and structural studies. Conferences include the Annual SSRL/LCLS Users' Meeting, the Triannual West Coast Protein Crystallography Meeting, the Annual American Crystallography Association Conference, and the Biannual Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation Meeting. School lectures include the Annual RapiData Workshop, the annual Cold Springs Harbor Crystallography Course, the SSRL Structural Molecular Biology Summer School and the Stanford Synchrotron Summer School.

Public Lectures

MC group members provide scientific lectures tailored for the general public. These lectures are a part of the SLAC Public Lecture Series(found on the SLAC website) and are held periodically on the SLAC campus.