sources, once considered a novelty, are now an essential tool for structural analysis.
The Macromolecular Crystallography Resource at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (MacCHESS) provides support for the collection and analysis of x-ray diffraction data from crystals of biological macromolecules using synchrotron radiation. The overall goal of the MacCHESS research resource is to ensure that world class research in structural biology is performed at CHESS. This goal is accomplished by providing specialized equipment for macromolecular crystallography as well as trained support staff to assist outside users. The MacCHESS staff of two scientists, three technicians, a computer programmer, a machinist, and a secretary has established an active research program designed to advance the frontiers of synchrotron radiation research and structural biology. MacCHESS receives its major source of funding from the Biomedical Research Resource Program of the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
MacCHESS is dependent on the continued operation of the CHESS laboratory, which is responsible for delivering synchrotron radiation to the experimental hutch. CHESS is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide synchrotron radiation for a wide variety of experiments. Structural biology accounts for about 35–40 percent of the total experiments performed at CHESS. CHESS, in turn, is dependent on the operation of the CESR (the Cornell Electron-Positron Storage Ring). CESR is maintained by the Laboratory for Nuclear Studies for use in particle physics experiments and is funded by the NSF.
Core research projects are performed by MacCHESS faculty and staff and are intended to advance the capabilities of the research resource. Core research projects provide the driving force for new developments such as advanced x-ray detectors, cryo-crystallography apparatus, new beam line optics, new x-ray instrumentation, and new data analysis software. Current core research projects include structural analysis of various targets for drug design, elucidation of enzyme mechanisms and protein engineering.