The Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences has been awarded second prize in the 2017 Sharing Research Resources Award by the American Association of Medical Colleges.
According to the AAMC, "award winners demonstrate successful sharing of research resources between institutions and campuses, including medical schools, teaching hospitals, and other academic institutions."
The Center, located at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY, has helped hundreds of principal investigators and thousands of researchers around the world determine the structure and elucidate the functions of biological macromolecules (such as nucleic acids and proteins) by providing access to highly complex and expensive synchrotron x-ray beamlines.
A synchrotron is a circular particle accelerator about the size of a football field in which electrons are deflected through magnetic fields, creating X-rays billions of times brighter than conventional hospital X-rays.
Beamlines (long passageways) are constructed to direct the X-rays to an experimental workstation, where they are used for research.
The extreme brightness of the X-rays allows scientists to research the structure of matter at the atomic level.