BioCAT is offering its fourth intensive HOW-TO course in BioSAXS. Students will have a day and a half of lectures and hands-on software tutorials on the basics of BioSAXS data collection and processing from expert practitioners in the field. This will be followed by data collection on the BioCAT beamline (Sector 18 at the APS) and data analysis help. Students are encouraged to bring 1-2 research samples for the data collection.

The course will take place from 11/5/18-11/7/18 at the APS (see schedule below for details).

Students at the BioCAT BioSAXS course in 2016.

How to register

Registration is currently OPEN.

Registration is first come, first served, and limited to the first 15 participants due to time constraints on how many users can collect data during the course. Participants can register here:


$200/$300 for academic/industrial

Lodging and Travel

Participants are responsible for their own lodging and travel. We recommend participants plan to arrive Sunday (11/4) and leave Thursday morning (11/8). Rooms are available at the Argonne Guest House.

More information

While the primary purpose of the course is educational, students may bring a limited number (1-2) of their own research samples. Prepared standard protein samples will be available to all students for training purposes.

Course topics:

  • Basic principles of SAXS
  • Critical sample preparation and data collection procedures, including online size-exclusion chromatography (SEC-SAXS)
  • Evaluating data quality
  • Basic data processing including size (Rg, Dmax), molecular weight, the P(r) function, and real space reconstructions
  • What you need to know for publication
  • Overview of several advanced and emerging methods
  • Hands-on tutorial with data processing software

Students will be assigned into small groups for 4 hour data collection slots starting Tuesday afternoon and running through Wednesday evening (11 pm). If you are coming as a group or if you need a particular time slot, please notify Jesse Hopkins ( for scheduling. Lectures and tutorials are finished by 1 pm on Tuesday. There are no other officially scheduled activities besides your data collection slot, so you may wish to make your travel arrangements once you know when your slot will be. Note that data analysis help is available in parallel with the data collection, but it is not a formal tutorial.

While BioCAT supports SEC-SAXS, SEC-MALS-SAXS, and batch mode SAXS, due to time constraints students will be limited to only SEC-SAXS data collection. Please send your buffer requirements (pH, salt concentration and other additives) to Jesse Hopkins ( so we can try to minimize buffer changes during the course. We may ask you if you can accommodate slightly different pH and salt concentration in order to combine similar buffers. Please contact Srinivas Chakravarthy ( with any questions about samples or sample preparation.


  • Jesse Hopkins (BioCAT, APS)
  • Srinivas Chakravarthy (BioCAT, APS)
  • Xiaobing Zuo (Sector 12, APS)
  • Tobin Sosnick (U. Chicago)
  • Wei-Jen Tang (U. Chicago)
  • Lokesh Gakhar (U. Iowa)

Tentative schedule

Monday 11/5/18

08:00 am Registration, breakfast (provided)
08:30 am SAXS overview: what it is and why you should do it
09:00 am Planning and performing SAXS experiments I: In your lab
09:45 am Planning and performing SAXS experiments II: At the beamline
10:15 am Planning your (second) BioCAT experiment
10:30 am Break
10:45 am The scattering profile
11:00 am Basic data analysis: Generating a scattering profile, Rg, MW, Kratky, P(r), and when it all goes wrong
12:10 pm Group photo
12:15 pm Lunch (provided)
12:45 pm Advanced data analysis: Reconstructions (DAM, ED), fitting (Crysol/FoXs)
01:45 pm Publishing your data: best practices
02:15 pm Advanced topics 1: Time-resolved SAXS
03:00 pm Advanced topics 2: Mixtures and complexes
03:45 pm Break
04:00 pm Integrative Structural Approaches for Studying Human Insulin Degrading Enzyme - Wei-Jen Tang (U. Chicago)
04:45 pm Advanced topics 4: Flexible systems and intrinsically disordered proteins
05:30 pm Preparation for student beamtime
06:00 pm End of Monday lectures

Tuesday 11/6/18

08:00 am Breakfast (provided)
08:15 am BioXTAS RAW introduction and software demo
08:45 am Hands on with RAW: Basic data processing tutorial
10:45 am BioXTAS RAW software demo
11:00 am Hands on with RAW: Advanced data processing tutorial
01:00 pm Lunch (provided)
02:00 pm Group 1 data collection
06:00 pm Dinner (not provided)
07:00 pm Group 2 data collection
11:00 pm End of Tuesday data collection

Additionally on Tuesday, data analysis help will be available from 1-6 pm.

Wednesday 11/7/18

09:00 am Group 3 data collection
01:00 pm Lunch (not provided)
02:00 pm Group 4 data collection
06:00 pm Dinner (not provided)
07:00 pm Group 5 data collection
11:00 pm End of Wednesday data collection

Additionally on Wednesday, data analysis help will be available from 9 am to 6 pm, except during lunch.