About the Institute of Structural Molecular Biology
We are pleased to announce the EMBO practical course on image processing for cryo-electron microscopy. This 10 day course will run from 10-20 September 2007 at Birkbeck, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom.

Applications for this course are now closed

The EMBO course is supported by EMBO, and also by the EU 3D EM Network of Excellence and the EU Integrated Project 3D Repertoire.

Information on this page:

- Objectives of the course
- Course content
- Lecturers
- Provisional timetable
- Course fee
- Reading list
- Accommodation and arrival details
- Applications invited
- Course organisers
- Contact


Objectives of the course [Top]

The aim of the course is to teach the basic principles and practical aspects of image processing to bioscientists and structural biologists wishing to determine macromolecular structures by cryo electron microscopy (EM). The course will concentrate on processing of single particle images, and will be aimed at advanced PhD students and postdocs using cryo EM images for structural analysis.

Structural analysis by cryo EM has became a major tool for studying large macromolecular complexes. The use of field emission gun microscopes, imaging of samples at liquid nitrogen temperatures, and developments in image processing have led to improvements in the resolution of single particle structures from 20-30 Å to 6-10 Å. More complex processing is required to extract the higher resolution details.

Cryo EM single particle analysis is an ideal complement to X-ray crystallography and NMR. Fitting of individual structures into cryo EM maps of large assemblies allows the characterization of multi-component interactions, to distinguish different functional states. This hybrid approach is essential for understanding biological mechanisms and is an important addition to structural genomics. New approaches developed for analysis of thin cells and cryo-sections by tomography extend the range of EM from individual complexes to cellular structures in situ.


Course content [Top]

The various specimen types (e.g. two-dimensional crystals, protein filaments, individual protein molecules, and large complexes) require different approaches at their image analysis. On our course we will review the major techniques used in electron microscopy: electron crystallography, helical, icosahedral reconstructions, single particle methods, and electron tomography. That will help students to make a choice of the method for their own research. However, the emphasis will be made on processing of single particle images.

The course will cover:

  • Basic concepts of Fourier analysis
  • Principles of TEM image formation and contrast transfer
  • Image acquisition and pre-processing
  • Contrast transfer function correction
  • Symmetry and alignment
  • Multivariate statistical analysis and eigenimages
  • Determination of orientations for 3D reconstruction
  • Angular reconstitution
  • Methods of 3D reconstruction
  • Icosahedral reconstruction
  • Electron crystallography
  • Helical reconstruction
  • Interpretation: Atomic structure fitting into EM maps

Lecturers [Top]

The following people will be speaking at the course:

Nicolas Boisset
Laboratoire de Minéralogie Cristallographie, Paris, France
Bridget Carragher
Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, USA
Stephen Fuller
The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford, UK
Felix de Haas
FEI Company, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Marin van Heel
Imperial College, London, UK
Richard Henderson
MRC laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK
Kay Grunewald
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany
Carolyn Moores
School of Crystallography, Birkbeck, London, UK
Elena Orlova
School of Crystallography, Birkbeck, London, UK
Laurence Pearl
The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK
Neil Ranson
University of Leeds, UK
Helen Saibil
School of Crystallography, Birkbeck, London, UK
Judith Short
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK
David Stuart
The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford, UK
Maya Topf
School of Crystallography, Birkbeck, London, UK
Nigel Unwin
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge

Provisional Timetable [Top]

Overall, the course timetable will be made up of practicals (35%), lectures (30%), seminars and presentations (20%) and discussion (15%).
For a detailed timetable of the course, please click here.


Course fee [Top]

There is no course fee unless for industrial attendees in which case a fee is payable directly to EMBO.
Food and accommodation will be provided throughout the course but all attendees must arrange and pay for their own travel.


Reading list [Top]

A reading list for attendees is available here.


Accommodation and arrival details [Top]

The course will be held at Birkbeck College in central London and accommodation will be provided nearby on the nights of 10-19 September. Further details of accommodation and instructions for arrival will be send to all course attendees.


Applications invited [Top]

Applications are invited from PhD students and researchers in EM.

Applications should include:
- A Curriculum vitae
- A publication list
- A short description of your current work and future plans
- An explanation of why attendance at the course would further the applicant's own research
- A letter of recommendation from the applicant's supervisor

Applications should be sent by mail to:
Anne-Cécile Maffat
Institute of Structural Molecular Biology
School of Crystallography
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX
United Kingdom

Or by email to:

Deadline for applications: Monday 4 June 2007

Applicants will be contacted after the deadline to confirm whether their application has been successful.


Course organisers [Top]

The course organisers are Dr Elena Orlova and Professor Helen Saibil from the School of Crystallography, Birkbeck.

Contact [Top]

If you would like to be kept informed of announcements about this course please send an email to the ISMB Administrator.







Institute of Structural Molecular Biology, University of London
Last modifi
ed in 2007 by ismb-admin@ismb.lon.ac.uk
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