Workshops are designed for individuals in the same field, discipline or interests to network and learn the most recent developments and techniques.    As opposed to a session, workshops hold potential for participants to receive some personal attention and the chance to share.  ACA workshops are conducted by individuals who have real experience and passion in the subject under discussion.  While workshops can have different formats, very often our workshops are participatory, i.e. participants are active, both in that they influence the direction of the workshop and also in that they have a chance to practice the techniques, skills, etc. that are under discussion.  There's a good deal of discussion in addition to participation, rather than just a teacher presenting material to be absorbed by attentive students.

Please note that preregistration is required and should be indicated on your registration form.  The cost for each workshop is separate from the meeting registration fee.  Fees for each workshop are listed on the registration page. 

The ACA is excited to offer the following workshops at the 2019 Annual Meeting.   Please note that the following schedules, instructor lists and topics are tentative and subject to change.


WK1: Advanced Structural Characterization of Nanomaterials

WHEN: Saturday, July 20, 2019 @ 8:30 AM [All Day Program]

WHERE: Northern Kentucky Convention Center

ROOM: Meeting Room 5 (MR5)



Thomas Proffen, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Katharine Page, Oak Ridge National Laboratory



Students & Postdocs: $60

All Others: $120



  • Limited to 30 Registrants

  • Lunch Included

  • Participants will be required to bring their own laptop computers and have the needed software installed. All used software is open source are freely available. Participants will receive an email with detailed installation instructions and an email address in case help is needed.

Modern diffraction instruments allow the collection of scattering data containing a complete structural finger print of nano particles including atom-atom pair information from every aspect, e.g. the core, shell and possible ligand contributions. The analysis and modeling of total scattering data is becoming a growing area of interest and need in the crystallographic community. While past workshops have focused on total scattering and local structure in general, we are proposing a workshop focused on modeling nanoparticles from total scattering data. The workshop will include lectures of science examples and method overview as well as extensive hands-on exploration of the DiffPy package ( and the DISCUS software suite ( This allows participants to learn about modeling from using a simple unit cell based model with a shape function all the way to modeling a complete disordered nanoparticle with refinable model parameters. 




WK2 - Accelerating Your Career Development

Offered by the ACA with the Support of: 


WHEN: Saturday, July 20, 2019 @ 1:00 PM [Half Day Program]

WHERE: Northern Kentucky Convention Center

ROOM: Meeting Room 6-7 (MR6-7)



Chelsy C. Chesterman, Rutgers University 

Korey Carter, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Kenneth Childers, University of Maryland



Students & Postdocs: $0

All Others: $0

No Fee is Required but Pre-Registration is Necessary!

1:00 – 1:15       Welcome
1:15 – 2:00       How to Conduct a Job Search   
Patrick J. Mulvey (American Institute of Physics)
2:00 – 3:00       Discussion Panel          
Corie Ralston (Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory)
Bruce Noll (Bruker)
Phoebe Rice (University of Chicago)
Michael Thompson (University of California, San Francisco)
3:00 – 3:30       Coffee Break
3:30 – 4:30       Networking Event
Speed-dating with mentors from industry, academia, and national labs.


4:30 – 4:45       Wrap-up


  • Half Day Session: Lunch NOT Included!

Searching for jobs in science can be a daunting and challenging process. This half-day workshop will focus on identifying potential opportunities, building an application, and networking. This workshop is being programmed to target undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. We are inviting a diverse group of speakers to speak to a wide range of available options for employment both in academia and industry. This workshop will include presentations with practical tips for job searching and a networking speed-dating activity in which students will have the opportunity to meet in small groups with established scientists attending the conference. This workshop will offer those coming to the ACA to start their job search a great head start, and a wide range of perspectives to consider for students earlier in their education.


WK3 - Introduction to PHENIX for Electron Cryo-Microscopists

WHEN: Saturday, July 20, 2019 @ 9:00 AM [All Day Program]

WHERE: Northern Kentucky Convention Center

ROOM: Meeting Room 1 (MR1)



Paul Adams, Lawrence Berkeley Lab



Students & Postdocs: $120

All Others: $120



9:00 AM                      PHENIX Overview (Paul Adams)

9:15 AM                      Cryo-EM Automated map improvement & model building (Paul Adams)   

10.15 AM                    Break and set-up of PHENIX on computers

10:45 AM                    Cryo-EM structure refinement in PHENIX (Pavel Afonine)

11:45 PM                     Model and Data Validation (Jane Richardson)

12.30 PM                     Lunch

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM      Hands-on Tutorials – Cryo-EM map improvement and model building

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM     Break

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM      Hands-on Tutorials – Cryo-EM Refinement

4:00 PM – 4:45 PM     Hands-on Tutorials – Cryo-EM Validation

4:45 PM                       Workshop Survey and wrap-up



  • Limited to 50 Registrants

  • Lunch Included

  • Participants will be required to bring their own laptop computers and have the needed software installed. 

  • Participants will be notified of a specific PHENIX release to install on their computers prior to the workshop.


The purpose of the workshop is to train researchers in the use of the PHENIX software for macromolecular structure determination using electron cryo-microscopy. The workshop will benefit the structural biology community by making the use of this software accessible to a broader group of crystallographers and electron microscopists, by teaching them when and how to use the software properly, and how to get the most out of the software. The workshop will have two components. The morning session will introduce the PHENIX system and the core algorithms that it uses. The afternoon session will be a hands-on tutorial for researchers. The morning session will begin with an overview of PHENIX that introduces what the PHENIX software can do, how it is organized, and how it is used. Then the new electron cryo-microscopy features in PHENIX will be presented along with the key algorithms used in structure solution including map improvement and automated model-building. Next the algorithms for structure refinement will be described with emphasis on the core concepts. Then the extensive validation available during and after structure determination with PHENIX will be described. During the morning break the attendees that do not already have the software will install PHENIX on their computers. This process takes about 5 minutes with Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows operating systems.  In the afternoon there will be tutorials. These will focus on map improvement, model-building, structure refinement and validation.


WK4 -  Saturday Morning Serial Crystallography: Obtaining Protein Structure from Many Crystals

WHEN: Saturday, July 20, 2019 @ 8:00 AM [All Day Program]

WHERE: Northern Kentucky Convention Center

ROOM: Meeting Room 2 (MR2)


Jennifer Wierman, SLAC National Lab, Stanford University 
Aaron Finke, CHESS, Cornell University
Nicholas Sauter, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Graeme Winter, Diamond Light Source
Aina Cohen, SLAC National Lab, Stanford University


Students & Postdocs: $80
All Others: $110



  • Lunch Included

  • Participants will be required to bring their own laptop computers. 

Serial diffraction experiments at many macromolecular crystallography beamlines are becoming routine, relaxing the requirement for large, well diffracting protein crystals and enabling potential structure solutions for targets not otherwise amenable to classical methods. Furthermore, serial crystallography opens the doors to a wide variety of exciting new time resolved experiments, providing new ways to study protein dynamics. A hands-on workshop on the collection and processing of serial diffraction data would go a long way to educate the structural biology community on how these powerful methods can benefit the structural study of biomolecules. It will also increase awareness of the increasingly available user facilities for these experiments (such as the standard serial crystallography setups at LCLS, SSRL, CHESS, DLS, and other beamlines). Here, we propose such a workshop, geared toward graduate students and postdoctoral researchers with some previous knowledge of biomolecular crystallography. The workshop will be broadly broken into three parts. First, beamline scientists will introduce the concepts of serial crystallography and discuss experimental design and procedure. Second, beamline scientists will do a live demonstration of serial data collection via remote connection to one of the beamlines at CHESS and/or SSRL, with a demonstration of automated data analysis. The third part will be a “Data Frames to PDB” session for offline data reduction and processing, where workshop participants will be given sample data sets and work through diffraction image processing, with assistance from software experts. Participants may also bring in and get assistance with their own data.

8:00-8:30  Workshop Introduction – Jennifer Wierman Sample Prep and Data Collection Lectures
8:30-9:00      Sample Preparation for Serial Diffraction Studies – Guillermo Calero
9:00-9:30     Sample Delivery using Injectors (general and LCP) –  Vadim Cherezov
9:30-9:50   Fixed Target Mounting Methods for Serial Diffraction Studies – Jennifer Wierman 
9:50-10:00  Coffee Break 
10:00-10:30  A user program for the study of protein dynamics with fixed-target serial synchrotron crystallography at Diamond Light Source – Graeme Winter
10:30-11:30  How to best make use of the Standard Goniometer Setup for serial diffraction studies at LCLS-MFX and SSRL BL12 (with DEMO!) – Aina Cohen 
Lunch:11:30am – 12:30pm 
Data Processing Tutorials:12:30-1:15  Injector-based Serial Still Data with cctbx.xfel – Aaron Brewster
1:15-1:45  Fixed-Target-based Serial Still Data with cctbx.xfel/IOTA – Art Lyubimov
1:45-2:15 Serial Oscillation Data with XDS - Aaron Finke
2:15-2:45 Serial Oscillation Data with DIALS – Nick Devenish 
2:45-3:00  Coffee Break Hands-on Session about Data Processing: (Breakout with tutors from lectures above)3:00-5:30 Hands on user data processing (Lead tutors Art Lyubimov, Aaron Brewster, Nick Devenish, and Aaron Finke)


WK5 - Workshop on Biological Structure Determination using Cryo-EM

WHERE: Northern Kentucky Convention Center

ROOM: Ballroom E (BRE)

PART 1: Monday, July 22, 2019 @ 1:30 PM
PART 2: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 @ 1:30 PM

Offered by the ACA with the Support of: 


Cathy Lawson, Rutgers University
Wen Jiang, Purdue University
Michael Cianfrocco, University of Michigan

Students & Postdocs: $60
All Others: $120


  • Please note that this workshop takes place durning the meeting and is split on two different days.  

  • TWO Half Day Session: Lunch NOT Included!

  • Personal computers will be required. For the particle picking and reconstruction tutorials, each student will be given access to their own GPU computing node on the AWS cloud, as well as a temporary CryoSparc license ( Participants should have UCSF Chimera ( installed on their laptop in advance of the workshop.

Cryo-EM is rapidly becoming the method of choice for structure determination of proteins larger than ~100 kDa, including membrane proteins, large assemblies and multi-protein complexes. Cryo-EM instrumentation is being installed in many universities, and is also available at large multiuser facilities both in the U.S. and worldwide. This workshop, which will be held on two consecutive afternoons during the ACA 2019 main meeting (Mon. and Tues.), will introduce scientists with crystallographic backgrounds to procedures used cryo-EM. Lectures will focus on the steps involved in producing a cryo-EM map, from specimen preparation and data collection through to image processing and reconstruction. Aspects of workshop will be hands-on: state-the-art programs will be used by the students to process sample datasets. This workshop will benefit those who want to use cryo-EM in the future, or who have recently transitioned into it. We will strive to include up-to-date discussions of cutting-edge methods and technology.




WK6 - Phase Identification and Materials Characterization Using Powder X-ray Diffraction

WHEN: Saturday, July 20, 2019 @ 8:30 AM [All Day Program]

WHERE: Northern Kentucky Convention Center

ROOM: Meeting Room 3 (MR3)



Thomas Blanton, ICDD

Graciela Díaz de Delgado, Universidad de Los Andes 


Students & Postdocs: $65
All Others: $90


8:30 Workshop introduction, ICDD student award and grant opportunities
9:00 Powder diffraction sample preparation
9:30 Powder diffraction data collection
10:00 Break
10:30 Powder Diffraction File and hands-on data mining (bring your own laptop)
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Phase identification, hands-on using Sieve+ and JADEPro (bring your own laptop)
2:30 Break
3:00 Phase identification when you have no exact reference
4:00 Phase identification leading to quantitative analysis and Rietveld refinement
5:00 Session wrap-up, discussion


  • Lunch Included


Powder diffraction continues to grow as an important technique for materials characterization and phase identification. Service crystallographers, researchers in government laboratories and industries, graduate students, postdocs, and professors, benefit from this fast and versatile analytical tool. This hands-on workshop is designed to introduce participants to resources available to properly identify crystalline phases from powder diffraction patterns, registered mainly with conventional laboratory equipment. A brief discussion of the fundamentals of Powder Diffraction, instrumentation and best practices for data collection will be presented in the morning session. The practical sessions in the afternoon will include use of the PDF-4+ Database, search/match procedures, and advanced data mining capabilities of the database.