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The Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute (HWI) is an independent, not-for-profit, biomedical research facility located in the heart of downtown Buffalo's medical campus and employing a staff of approximately 70 individuals. For half a century, HWI scientists have been committed to improving human health through study, at a molecular level, of the causes and potential cures of many diseases. In contrast to clinical research, the focus of Hauptman-Woodward’s basic research is to determine the structures of individual substances such as proteins that play a role in the development of specific diseases. The current group of 21 scientists along with their postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and research associates use the techniques of molecular biology, biochemistry, and crystallography to achieve this goal. In addition, other research on-going at HWI seeks to improve the methods of crystallization and data analysis used for molecular structure determination by scientists worldwide.

HWI is the lead institution for the CHTSB project, and 17 staff members are associated with CHTSB.   HWI's High-Throughput Crystallization Screening and Optimization Laboratory is the heart of the project.  Scientists working in this laboratory are developing automated methods for improving crystal quality as well as precipitant cocktails specifically tailored to transmembrane proteins.  They also work with collaborators at the Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI) to develop automated image analysis methods for recognizing crystals in experimental droplets and with collaborators at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) to perfect a beamline emulator for determining crystal quality before shipping crystals to a synchrotron site.  HWI scientists use remote data collection technology to measure X-ray diffraction data at SSRL, and they complete the structure solution, refinement, and validation processes.

HWI is also the home for the team responsible for CHTSB's information management systems.  Since it began operation, the crystallization laboratory has accumulated a database of more than 76 million images (~16 terabytes of information) gathered from the crystallization experiments for 8200 proteins.  The lab is now screening ~200 proteins per month, and the database is expanding at the rate of ~1.8 million (or ~380 gigabytes) per month.

For more information about the Hauptman-Woodward Institute, click here.