FORMULATRIX Integration On Beamline VMXi

Dr. James Sandy - Diamond Light Source

About James Sandy, Ph.D.

James Sandy worked in the Department of Pharmacology, Oxford University for 9 years, carrying out structural studies into a family of drug metabolising enzymes. He then moved to the Diamond Light Source in 2006 where he joined the MX group. He helped to build and commission the first three phase I MX beamlines at Diamond before settling on beamline I02. In the summer of 2016, I02 was closed to users and the new beamline VMXi was built. James helped to specify components for the beamline and took the lead on procuring the sample storage. He has helped to develop and commission the VMXi beamline which has now started accepting first user groups.

About the VMXi Beamline

The VMXi beamline has been developed as a fully automated, fully remote in-situ beamline. User trays are stored within FORMULATRIX® ROCK IMAGER® units where they are imaged. Users can connect to a web interface (SynchWeb) where they can view the images of their crystallisation experiments and can then mark objects or regions of interest. The trays are then transferred automatically to the beamline and data are collected. Users can then see the output of the beamline in SynchWeb and can line up more experiments on their trays. Samples that are fragile, sensitive to cryoprotection or which may be impossible to harvest can all be easily analysed on the VMXi beamline.

About the Presentation

Dr. Sandy presented this talk as part of the Protein Crystallization Webinar Series 2018 hosted by FORMULATRIX on October 23, 2018.


VMXi: A fully automated, fully remote, high flux in situ macromolecular crystallography beamline.

Juan Sanchez-Weatherby*,  James Sandy, Halina Mikolajek,  Carina M. C. Lobley, Marco Mazzorana,  Jon Kelly, Geoff Preece, Rich Littlewood and  Thomas L-M Sorensen

Journal of Synchrotron Radiation (in press)


If you would like more information about the VMXi beamline, you can contact Dr. Sandy here ( or get in touch with the beamline team here (