May 22, 2020

Dear X-ray crystallography users,

METRIC will resume limited research activities on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. During Phase I of this process, the goal is to reach 35% of functional capacity over the coming weeks while ensuring the safety of the University community. Limited on-site staff and instrument accessibility necessitates some changes to the operational procedures of the X-ray facilities. In consultation with the Office of Research and Innovation, the following policies have been developed for Phase I re-opening.

Approval
All projects must be approved to resume by relevant Department/College/University entities prior to submitting samples.

Facility Access
During Phase I, we need to limit foot traffic and contact with high-touch surfaces to minimize the potential for cross-contamination. With the health of our users and staff in mind, METRIC scientists will now collect all data for users and no direct access to X-ray and crystallization laboratories will be permitted. External users are not permitted to access campus buildings. (Researchers that were previously trained for self-use will continue to be charged at the self-use rate.)

Sample Submission
Users should continue to utilize the MENDIX Lab Management Portal (www.labs.ncsu.edu) for sample submission. Please note that MENDIX does not directly notify METRIC scientists of a sample submission. You are encouraged to contact Roger Sommer for Small Molecule submissions and Paul Swartz for Macromolecular submissions. If there are special considerations regarding handling the sample, they can be included in the request comments and/or in the email. Samples can be submitted in two ways:

NC State researchers
Users from NC State should use the common METRIC sample drop site in Dabney 23. This room is equipped with a freezer and refrigerator for temperature sensitive samples. Please disinfect your samples upon submission using available supplies, observe social distancing guidelines, and use appropriate PPE.

External User Mail-in Submission
External users are not permitted to enter campus buildings during Phase 1. Please ship your samples to:

Roger Sommer
045 Dabney Hall
2620 Yarbrough Dr.
Raleigh, NC 27695

Sample containers and packaging will be sprayed and wiped down with disinfectant. Please be sure durable, legible labeling is part of your submission. Simply writing on the vial with a permanent marker will not work; color coded labels are encouraged.

Training
Due to the close contact needed, all training activities will be suspended during Phase I of the re-start.

Consultation Requests
During the Phase 1 restart process, staff availability will be limited and detailed consultations may not be possible. However, we will continue to provide “Letters of Support” for grant applications. Please submit your request through the METRIC Lab Management Portal.

We appreciate your patience during these difficult circumstances. Please bear in mind, overall capacity in the facility will be significantly reduced. We will endeavor to meet your immediate needs as quickly as possible, but there are likely to be delays. With everyone’s cooperation, we hope to transition through Phase I in a timely fashion.

Please feel free to reach out with questions or concerns.

Roger Sommer and Paul Swartz