The XFEL Biology Infrastructure (XBI) User Consortium

The XBI User Consortium was established following a recommendation of the European XFEL Council in October 2012 to contribute laboratory space, instrumentation, and manpower to create an infrastructure for sample preparation, handling, testing, and scoring of biological samples to be measured at the European XFEL instruments. The members of the XBI User Consortium have considerable experience in the field of structural biology and free electron laser research, and the resulting XBI User Laboratory will enable world-leading new science to emerge in biology from the European XFEL.

Science at the European XFEL critically depends on the performance of the X-ray laser and equally so on the samples that will be placed into the X-ray beam. Many biological transformations happen on time scales shorter than minutes, and optimal use of the European XFEL beam will require a support laboratory in the immediate vicinity of the European XFEL beam lines. The aim of the XBI Project is to create such a facility for the users of the European XFEL. The XBI Laboratory is located in the headquarters of the European XFEL Company in Schenefeld, right above the beamlines. It will permit a wide variety of experiments on biological samples, including living cells, cell organelles, single virus particles, macromolecular complexes, and single biomolecules as well as nanocrystals of those samples. The integrated instrumentation will provide versatile tools to significantly increase the feasibility of and broad accessibility to biological studies in particular on transient and unstable bio-samples. The XBI User Consortium together with the European XFEL Company will run the XBI Facility with all its equipment for the general user community and ensure its most efficient, reliable and worthwhile use.


Laboratory staff

Inari Kursula (coordinator)
Kristina Lorenzen (project manager)
Ekaterina Round (senior technical officer)
Huijong Han (postdoc)
Robin Schubert (postdoc)
Jana Makroczyova (research assistant)





Ekaterina Round, Matthias Wilmanns (EMBL-Hamburg Outstation)
Inari Kursula (University of Oulu)
Martin Äpfelbacher (University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf), Christian Betzel (University of Hamburg)
Imrich Barak, Karel Saksl (Slovak Academy of Sciences), Pavol Sovák, Jozef Uličný (Šafárik University)
Janos Hajdu (Uppsala University)
United States
Petra Fromme (Arizona State University)