CCDC in the USA – The Easy Move

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Written by

Paul Davie

Posted on

October 31, 2013

​“Of course!”

Change can be unsettling for some, exciting for others. Sometimes it can leave you scratching your head, bewildered. But sometimes you just have to smile and say “of course” – and that has been the overwhelming reaction to today’s news from the CCDC.

We are proud to announce today that we have established operations on the ground in North America – at the Center for Integrative Proteomics Research, at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. We will be alongside the RCSB Protein Data Bank and on a campus leading the way in new integrated approaches to biomedical research.

Now we have set up operations in the US, we’re in the ideal location to serve the 40% of our worldwide users that are in North America. Moreover, we’re perfectly positioned to work with the RCSB PDB.  Of course, the CCDC and the wwPDB partners have worked together in the past, but it’s now got a whole lot easier. The Protein Data Bank in Europe are just a few miles from us in Cambridge UK. Our friends at Osaka University look after our academic users in Japan as our National Affiliated Centre there and also host PDBj. We now have the RCSB PDB just down the hallway at Rutgers. With all these relationships you should expect to see all sorts of collaboration – and you will.

The Cambridge Structural Database was established in 1965, with the Protein Data Bank not far behind in 1971. Since then the two resources have grown inexorably; there are nearly 700,000 organic and metal organic structures available and almost 100,000 macromolecular structures. Crystallography has, for many decades, been a shining example to other disciplines. The publication of a crystal structure determination without the timely deposition of structural data is simply unthinkable. That the output of almost every published crystallographic analysis, ever, is available to all is a phenomenal achievement of this research community.

Not only do the wwPDB partners and the CCDC share many common values, we have common approaches, a shared interest in technology and all of us strive to deliver the most useful structural information possible to our beneficiaries. But we also have our own distinctive character and a few healthy differences!

There is also scientific synergy; structures contained in the PDB teach us a great deal about the conformations and interactions of the small peptides in the CSD. Likewise, the conformations and interactions of small molecules in the CSD inform us on the binding of ligands to macromolecules.  There can scarcely be a macromolecular crystallographer who hasn’t turned to the CSD to get the best possible insight into small molecules bound to their target of interest. Similarly, many structural chemists turn to the PDB to give them biological insights into their molecules.

So, after a combined 90 years of serving our respective and overlapping communities we’re ideally placed (literally!) to develop even more innovative, integrated approaches to serve our users – wherever they are in the world.


October 2013
Paul Davie, General Manager, CCDC Inc.