Lab equipment: We are located in Laboratory-8 on the 1st floor of the ILS R&D building. We have equipped ourselves with most of the essential requirements for a crystallography lab. We have facilities for routine molecular biology, protein over-expression, protein purification and crystallization works. We also have Linux work stations for crystallographic computation work. The institute houses a biophysical characterization facility with equipment for experiments such as UV/Vis-spectroscopy, Fluorescence spectroscopy, ITC and CD-spectroscopy. Moreover, through our recent infrastructure grant from DBT for the establishment of ‘Bhubaneswar Biophysical Characterization Facility’ an Analytical Ultracentrifuge (Beckman Coulter – Optima AUC) and an in-house X-ray diffractometer (Rigaku MicroMax 007HF with a HyPix6000 photon counting detector) along with a crystallization robot (SPTLabTech Mosquito XTal3) have become fully functional. The grant is a joint one with NISER and their Cryo-EM through this grant is currently getting installed.
X-ray diffraction and SAXS experiments: For long, we have been depending on the facilities with friendly crystallographers elsewhere in the country for our diffraction experiments. Twice our data collection experiments were carried out at CSIR-IICT in Hyderabad (Dr Anthony Addlagatta’s facility). Now we have our very own in-house XRD facility. We do in-house SAXS experiments at IMTECH Chandigarh (Dr Ashish Ganguly’s laboratory), CSIR-CDRI Lucknow (Dr Ravishankar. R and Dr J. Venkatesh Pratap’s laboratories) and the Bio-SAXS facility at NCBS Bangalore. As for Synchrotron source, the beamlines of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) located at Grenoble (France) are being used on a routine basis, through the support of ESRF Access Program of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) for both SAXS and XRD. Similarly, we also use the XRD2 beamline at Elettra Synchrotron in Trieste, Italy, through the DST-funded scheme. We are regular users of the Protein Crystallography beamline (BL-21) of Indus-2, RRCAT, Indore (the Indian synchrotron light source) as well.
Funding status: Our group is running without significant glitches due to substantial intramural support from the institute. Also, we have completed four extramural projects; one each from SERB, and CSIR, and two from DBT, which helped our early stages of establishment. As of now, we have an ongoing extramural project funded by SERB. The four-year RRSFP Infrastructure grant from DBT is the latest one that got added to our list of projects.