Electron Microscopy

Cryo-EM enables imaging of frozen-hydrated specimens in their native state without the need for dyes or fixatives, allowing the study of fine cellular structures, viruses and macromolecular complexes. Hardware and software advances have supported spectacular progress, so that the method is now often sufficient to determine structures to atomic resolution, and to sort out conformational variations.

The ISMB Electron Microscopy Lab was established by Professor Helen Saibil and is now headed by Professor Carolyn Moores, with Laboratory Co-ordinator Dr Natasha Lukoyanova and Laboratory Manager Dr Shu Chen. For single particle EM and tomography, the lab is equipped with Tecnai 100, 120 kV, 200 kV FEG and 300 kV Polara machines, with a K2 direct electron detector and Quantum energy filter on the Polara, a DE20 direct detector on the F20, and a vitrobot for sample preparation. Cell preparation equipment includes a high pressure freezer, cryo microtome and freeze substitution, as well as correlative cryo fluorescence microscopy/ cryo EM.

A Krios g3i 300 kV cryo microscope will be operational in mid 2018, equipped with Falcon 3, K2 detector (to be ugraded to K3), Quantum energy filter and phase plate.

Researchers interested in using this technology should contact Dr Natasha Lukoyanova. More information is available on the EM lab page.