Newsletter | Fall 2017 ⋅ Number 75

Outreach and Education

Learn why the proteins called enzymes are essential to life on earth, and observe an example catalysis mechanism in the video How Enzymes Work.

Image of hemoglobin from the Geis Digital Archive. Used with permission from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute ( All rights reserved.

PDB-101 is RCSB PDB’s online portal for teachers, students, and the general public that promotes exploration in the world of proteins and nucleic acids. Learning about the diverse shapes and functions of these biological macromolecules helps to understand all aspects of biomedicine and agriculture, from protein synthesis to health and disease to biological energy.

This website ("101", as in an entry level course) presents introductory materials that introduce beginners to the structures of proteins and nucleic acids contained in the PDB archive. Resources for extended learning are also provided.

PDB-101 offers curricular materials, templates to create 3D paper models, Molecule of the Month articles, and other materials developed by RCSB PDB.

Users can search the website for related materials using molecule name or keyword. The Browse option can be used to explore available PDB-101 resources organized by topics such as the immune system and renewable energy. is updated with news and features regularly.

Miguel Torres at ACA in in 2016 (top) and 2017 (bottom)

ISMB Poster Prize winner Jinwoo Leem

Deekshi Angira receiving the poster prize at IUCr from Dr Matthew Conroy, outreach lead at PDBe

At this year's meeting of the American Crystallographic Association (ACA), the RCSB PDB Poster Prize award went to Miguel Torres for Crystallization and preliminary structural studies of an aldo-keto reductase from opium poppy (Miguel Torres, Mehran Dastmalchi, Peter Facchini, and Kenneth Ng, University of Calgary).

Many thanks to judges Thomas Koetzle, Bruce Noll (Bruker), Przemyslaw Porebski (University of Virginia), and Peter Müller (MIT).

This is the second year in a row that Miguel has been awarded this Prize. Last year, he was recognized for his work Crystallographic structures of pavine N-methyltrasferase complexes reveal new insights into substrate recognition and catalytic mechanism.

At this year's meeting of the 2017 Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB) Conference, the award went to Jinwoo Leem for Next generation structure-based antibody drug design with ABodyBuilder and PEARS (Jinwoo Leem, Guy Georges, Jiye Shi, Charlotte M. Deane, University of Oxford).

Many thanks to Co-Chairs Casey Greene (University of Pennsylvania) and (Arjun Krishnan, Michigan State University, the entire Posters Committee, and Steven Leard (ISMB).

All 2017 RCSB PDB awardees will be listed on the RCSB PDB website and will receive an educational book.

At the 24th Congress & General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr; Hyderabad, India), the wwPDB sponsored an award to highlight the “best poster by a graduate or undergraduate student in structural biology and related categories.”

Deekshi Angira was recognized with the wwPDB Poster Prize for Gamma secretase activating protein as profound target for Alzheimer’s disease (Deekshi Angira, Vijay Thiruvenkatam, Indian Institute Of Technology Gandhinagar).

As part of the award, she received the Methods in Enzymology volume on "The Resolution Revolution: Recent Advances In cryoEM," signed by many of its authors.

Download the 2016 Annual Report (PDF) for an overview of data deposition, query, outreach, and education activities.

This review highlights many RCSB PDB accomplishments, including educational materials focused on Diabetes and powerful 3D visualization tools.

wwPDB efforts, including deposition statistics and the OneDep system for deposition, validation, and biocuration, are also highlighted.

These bulletins provide a yearly snapshot of RCSB PDB activities and the state of the PDB archive. This edition is available as a PDF. If you would like a printed copy, please send your postal address to

The International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) meets every 3 years on a different continent.  The meeting brings together thousands of researchers that represent crystallographic interests from minerals to large macromolecular machines. 

From August 21-28, members from the RCSB PDB and wwPDB traveled to Hyderabad, India to participate in the 24th Congress and General Assembly of the IUCr.   The wwPDB booth hosted many visitors interested in learning about how to deposit data for their first time.  The PDBj-created fans were a big hit.

Three posters were presented, each highlighting the features of PDB-101,, and BioSync.

The Microsymposium held on Structural databases as teaching tools (macromolecules) is described in this issue’s Education Corner.


wwPDB hosts at the exbibit booth

RCSB PDB's John Westbrook presenting PDBx/mmCIF: The Data and Software Foundation for the wwPDB OneDep System for Deposition, Biocuration, and Validation