Protein Crystallography and Biophysics Centre (BiophysX)
Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology (ISMB)
Birkbeck College / University College London


About Us

The Protein Crystallography and Biophysics Centre (BiophysX) at ISMB provides access to instrumentation and expertise for structural biology experiments covering protein crystallography and several biophysical methods to members of ISMB and UCL groups as well as to other research groups located in London.

Please refer to Birkbeck web pages or contact us regarding updated discounted charges for Master's and PhD students.

Protein Crystallography   

BiophysX provides access to equipment and supplies for crystallization experiments including initial screenings, crystal monitoring and optimization. The Laboratory is equipped with a Mosquito LCP, several liquid handlers for setting up crystallisation plates including a Formulator, and two automated imaging plate hotels at 20oC (Jansi UVEXps256) and 4oC. We are running rolling BAG applications for access to major synchtrotrons across Europe covering research groups from Birkbeck, UCL and QMUL.


A variety of instrumentation is available for the characterization of equilibrium and kinetic behaviors of protein, nucleic acid and small-molecule interactions on a hire, service or collaborative basis. Highlights of the facility include applications on the Varioskan LUX plate reader, the light scattering instrumentation comprising of the fully automated 8-detector SEC/MALS (Wyatt) and the DLS instrument (PUNK). The center is also very experienced in thermostability assays using RT-PCR or CD. For an overview of the methods and techniques available, please click here.

Planning an experiment

Please read the overview for basic information and contact the Centre Manager for an information sheet and questionnaire on a specific technique. More detailed planning will depend on the information you return to us. Usual pitfalls are the solubility or stability of your sample at the buffer conditions required and the lack of suitable controls. Thorough data analysis is essential before conclusions are drawn from any biophysical experiment. Please discuss this in advance as well.

Please also note that our safety regulations need to be followed in any case..


Currently most of the biophysics equipment of the previously known as Biophysics Centre has been moved in room B16  were is is merged with the existing Protein Crystallography Laboratory. The new space offers a wider range of equipment under the same space as also it is easier accessible for the external users. Please contact the Centre Manager if you have any queries.
Bookings for biophysics equipment can be made and viewed here. If you have no valid login, please book through the Centre Manager.

Charges depend on the instrument and on the amount of training required and service to be provided. We charge to cover cost and only if there is sufficient funding on your project. Please enquire. For future projects involving BiophysX please contact us well in advance of your grant application.

Contact and Location

Protein Crystallography and Biophysics Centre
Institute of Molecular and Structural Biology
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London, WC1E 7HX
Tel +44 (0)203 926 3507 (from internal: 3507)
Email biophysx (at ) mail cryst bbk ac uk

Click here for maps of the college and surroundings. Please note some instrumentation is located nearby at UCL.

Funded by Wellcome


Partner of the MOSBRI project, funded from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme


ISMB Protein Crystallography and Biophysics Centre, Birkbeck, University of London
Last modified April 2024