Report from the 26th Annual Meeting of the German Crystallographic Society (DGK)

It is a drizzly, close to incessantly clouded week at the beginning of March 2018. There is breeziness among the crystallographers in Germany. Several hundred of them were keen to visit the 26th Annual Meeting of the German Crystallographic Society (DGK). They have conquered the streets of Essen and occupied some buildings at the campus of the University of Duisburg-Essen from the 5th until the 8th of March.

The meeting started off slowly and gave some insight into the structure of the next days with parallel sessions and plenary lectures in between. The sessions were sorted by topics which included bio-crystallography, new crystal structures, properties and respective relationships as well as new developments in methods, instrumentation and characterization. The plenary lectures were highly specialized presentations of diverse topics and much depth. It was a good opportunity to get insight into the research of other universities next to the own one and, thus, not just to get to know other approaches and solutions of challenges but also totally new topics in general. Especially for students, it was very useful to break out of the loop of daily laboratory routine.

The meeting was held not just for the experts and long-established participants who presented their work and progress. The younger generation of crystallographers and newbies could also shine and show what they are working on day by day. In two lightning talk sessions hosted by the chairs of the working group Young Crystallographers (AK21, YC, Melanie Nentwich and Khai-Nghi Truong), they got the chance to present in five minutes the core points and basics of their theme of study – quite a challenge in the aspect of keeping it short and simple while inspiring and delighting the audience.

The presenters of the two lightning talks on tuesday (left) and wednesday (right).

In the evening, the presenters had the opportunity to answer and discuss open points of their presentation with their new “fans” in poster sessions. There was quite an interaction since both sides (speaker and audience) could now communicate directly – taking their time to get in touch with each other and deepening the theme in respect of own experience and ideas, but also for networking. Both lightning talk and poster sessions were well attended with roughly 100 participants per session. The meeting ended slowly where well-presented and highly interesting talks were awarded with poster prizes at e.g. the GetTogether of the YC. STOE & Cie GmbH, in person of Martin Fark (CEO), provided us again three excellent prizes. This year’s winners are (in alphabetical order):

  • Anna Tymoczko, Universität Duisburg-Essen

How does the crystal structure influence the final composition of the Au-Fe alloy nanoparticles generated via pulsed laser ablation in liquids?

  • Matthias Barone, FMP Berlin

Structure-optimized ProM scaffolds address Ena/VASP as a possible antimetastatic target

  • Stefanie Hanke, Universität Leipzig

Preparation of active kallikrein7 for structural studies on inhibitor binding

Awarding of  the poster prizes (left to right): Martin Fark (CEO of STOE & Cie GmbH), Melanie Nentwich (chair to that date), Stefanie Hanke, Matthias Barone (both poster prize winners), Khai-Nghi Truong (co-chair to that date, chair from that date), Linda Hollenbeck, Michael Haiduk (both co-chair from that date).

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After continuous contact to friends, colleagues and many strangers over three days and pursued by memories and knowledge to share the crystallographers raced back home, awaiting the next meeting in the shadows of clouds, rain and thunder – or maybe the light of destiny will shine on them.

Of course, this operation would not have been successful without the support of

STOE & Cie GmbH (Darmstadt/DE)

DECTRIS Ltd. (Baden-Dättwil/CH)

Malvern Panalytical GmbH (Kassel/DE)

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