The Southeast Regional Collaborative Access Team (SER-CAT) is an organization consisting of 21 Member and 4 Associate institutions, formed in 1997 to provide third generation x-ray capabilities to macromolecular crystallographers and structural biologists in the southeastern region of the U.S. 

Emphasis is placed on de novo SAD/MAD structure determination, high-resolution structural analyses, large unit cells, drug design, structural genomics, soft X-ray data collection and next-generation beamline automation. SER-CAT is located at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, and is operated by the University of Georgia, with  Professor Bi-Cheng Wang as Director.

Please peruse the pages of our website to find out more about SER-CAT and how we are "shining a new light" on protein crystallography.  Have a look at The SER-CAT Spectrum, our newsletter, to learn about recent breakthroughs.  As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome. 

Thank you for visiting! 


*News and Announcements*

General Information


14th Annual SER-CAT Symposium


The 14th Annual SER-CAT Symposium will be held on Friday, April 7, 2017 at Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), Jupiter, Florida.  The Annual SER-CAT  Board Meeting will be held on Saturday, April 8, 2017. Details regarding meeting registration, abstract submission and accommodations can be found here:

Registration & Accommodations

*** 2016 Symposium ***


The 13th Annual SER-CAT Symposium was held on March 18, 2016 on the Emory campus at the Emory Conference Center Hotel. The meeting featured talks devoted to groundbreaking work at SERCAT’s synchrotron beam lines, young scientist presentations, new technologies, complementary methods, and a poster session. The APS leadership presented the latest news regarding the up-coming APS upgrades followed by a discussion on how this will affect our science.

The Symposium program included four sessions: 1) Exciting structures, hosted by Dr. Xiaodong Cheng; 2) Host Pathogen Interactions, hosted by  Dr. Graeme Conn; 3) Complimentary Methods, hosted by Dr. Eric Ortlund; 4) Beamline Updates, hosted by Dr. Christine Dunham.

The 2016 Outstanding Science and Young Investigator awards were presented to Dr. Paul Shaffer, Amgen, Inc. and  Mr. Marc Schureck, Emory University, respectively (see below).

Meeting participants discussed outstanding research projects conducted at SER-CAT throughout the year and received an update from APS' life Sciences Advisor Dr. Robert Fischetti on future upgrade plans for the APS. New sector specific technologies including hardware and software were shared by the SER-CAT staff.

SER-CAT sincerely thanks the Symposium's organizing committee Dr. Eric Ortlund, Dr. Graeme Conn, Dr. Christine Dunham, Jennifer Colucci, Dr. Xiaodong Cheng and staff at the Department of Biochemistry of Emory University for planning and organizing this year's informative and very enjoyable event. Many thanks also to the speakers and participants for making this year's activities such a great success.


March 2016 Symposium, Emory University

* * * SER-CAT AWARDS * * *

CONGRATULATIONS SER-CAT's 2016 Award Winners!!

SER-CAT is pleased to recognize Dr. Paul Shaffer from Amgen, Inc. with the 2016 SER-CAT Outstanding Science Award for his work on the structure and function of the human glycine receptor alpha 3 as described  his paper “Crystal structure of human glycine receptor-a3 bound to antagonist strychnine”.

Dr. Paul Shaffer  receives  the 2016 SER-CAT Outstanding Science Award from Dr. Bi-Cheng Wang

SER-CAT is pleased to recognize Mr. Marc Schureck, Emory University with the 2016 SER-CAT Young Investigator Award for his work on mRNA recognation as highlighted in his PNAS paper "Defining the mRNA recognition signature of a bacterial toxin protein”.

  Mr. Marc Schureck  receives  the 2016 SER-CAT Young Investigator Award from Dr. Bi-Cheng Wang

Special thanks also to all of the nominators for this year's event.

* * * Previous Award Winners * * *

Click here for a list of previous SER-CAT Award Winners


* * * Award Nomination Packets * * *

SER-CAT Awards nomination forms are available at the following links:

2017 SER-CAT Outstanding Science Award Nomination

2017 SER-CAT Young Investigator Award Nomination

* * * The SER-CAT Approach! * * *


We would like to share another slide presentation given by SER-CAT Director Dr. Bi-Cheng Wang at the 9th International Conference on Biology and Synchrotron Radiation in Manchester, England, entitled, "Remaining Challenges in Long Wavelength Phasing: The SER-CAT Approach" (PDF). This presentation highlights SER-CAT's work on data collection at all possible wavelengths, including sulfur phasing.



* * * SER-CAT Video Available * * *

SER-CAT Featured on  World Business Review


SER-CAT was featured on the TV program World Business Review, which aired on the Bravo Network in February 2005. You may view the featured segment in streaming audio following the links below. 


Windows Media video (300K)

Real Player video (300K)

If you would like a copy of this video to distribute locally on CD or DVD, please contact Lily Li at

* * * News from the Membership * * *

As a service to our Members, SER-CAT is pleased to provide helpful links for the following information:

Lease and/or Sale Opportunities Available by Members


Positions Available at SER-CAT and/or Member Institutions


Other Membership Announcements



Associate User Memberships Available


Associate User memberships are now available on a yearly basis with no capital; investment or long-term contractual commitment. Associate memberships are available to both academic and industrial users and provide full access to SER-CAT's outstanding Remote Access program at an attractive cost.


For more information, please contact SER-CAT Administrative Coordinator, Ms. Kathy S. Savage at

* * * Farwell * * *

SER-CAT bids a fond farwell to Mr. John Gonczy who is retiring from SER-CAT at the end of the year. John was one of SER-CAT's initial hires in 1998, who together with Gerold Rosenbaum and John Unik built the beamlines we use today. After the beamlines were comissioned John transitioned to user support assisting NIH users with their data collection since 2002.  He also played a key role in making the SER-CAT virtual beamline a reality. This will be John's third retirement having retired from Argonne and Fermi labs  befor joining SER-CAT. We wish you  health and happy days in your retirement.

* * * Kudo's * * *

SER-CAT Congratulates Zbignew Dauter, the 2017 winner of the ACA Patterson Award and Christine Dunham, Emory University winner of the 2017 Etter Early Career Award.

* * * New Rayonix MX300HS * * *

The detector is fast (10Hz) however 22BM is flux limited so collecting data at 10 Hz is not recommended.

The best data is collected in shutterless mode which has been incorporated into SERGUI.

For example, a 720 image data set (1 degree images, one second exposure using 1 X-rays) on crystals of bovine trypsin was collected in 12 minutes.

The data were autoprocessed with cmdXDS.

The scaled structure factors were then used with the PHENIX AutoSol workflow to solve the S-SAD (14 sulfurs, 224 residues) 1 X-rays. PHENIX solved the structure, HySS found the 14 sulfurs in the protein, 2 sulfate molecules and a bound calcium.  (delta F" for sulfur is 0.23 and calcium is 0.626 at this wavelength).

PHENIX solved the structure, HySS found the 14 sulfurs in the protein, 2 sulfate molecules and a bound calcium.  (delta F" for sulfur is 0.23 and calcium is 0.626 at this wavelength).

A total of 202 of the 224 residues were fit and the current model after AutoSol has an F-factor 0.2054 (Rfree = 0.2314).

* * * MX300HS Users Guide * * *

A data collection guide for the MX300HS has been prepared and can downloaded by clicking the link below.

MX300HS Users Guide

Please look it over since there are several changes in what you will need to do to collect data and process data with the new detector.

* * * HKL2000 for the MX300HS * * *

A new version of HKL2000 that can process the data from the MX300HS detector is available for download from HKL Research.  Please contact them for download instructions.  You will alos need to get an updated cr_info file.

* * * Data Archiving * * *

Users should avoid bringing firewire drives with metal cases for use at the beamlines.

The metal, being a wonderful heat conductor, is causing thermal failure because of the long download time required for data collection.

* * * SER-CAT Automounters * * *

Both BM and ID Robots are fully commissioned. All first time robotics users must contact Gina Ranieri (SER-CAT's User Support Coordinator) prior to their visit.

The ALS Style magnetic caps are available from Hampton Research, P/N HR4-779

The 18mm Mounted litholoops are available from Molecular Dimensions.

The dry shipping dewars compatible with SER-CAT puck holder are from Taylor-Wharton (Model: CX100 or CXR100). The product vendor is:

SER-CAT's robotic pucks, puck holder and tools are available from the University of Georgia Instrument Shop, 955 East Whitehall Rd., Athens, GA 30602. Please Contact Mr. Lewis Fortner via e-mail ( or  Fax (706-542-7921) for pricing and availability.


* * * Director's Highlights * * *

SER-CAT: the first 10 years  SER-CAT celebrated its 10th year Anniversary in 2007. In honor of this special occasion, SER-CAT's director Dr. Bi-Cheng Wang created a historical presentation highlighting many SER-CAT's exciting achievements. You are invited to view this PDF slideshow entitled, "SER-CAT: The First 10 Years" to see the chronological history of our development, including the important ribbon cutting ceremony held at the APS in 2002. We sincerely express our gratitude to each of you who supported SER-CAT's growth, and look forward to many more productive years ahead!

The Beamline dedication ceremony in Argonne, IL

Celebrating the official opening of SER-CAT's 1st beamline, October 2002, APS, ANL

   Photo of the Advanced Photon Source in Argonne, IL.