About the Practical Course
Structural analysis by cryo electron microscopy (cryo EM) is now a major tool for studying heterogeneous macromolecular complexes. Field emission gun microscopes, acquisition of images using Direct Electron Detectors (DEDs) and automated systems for data collection now allow almost routine biomolecular structure determination at 3-4 Å resolution. In structural studies by electron tomography the resolution has improved to the subnanometer range. For studies of multiprotein complexes, cryo EM single particle analysis is now competitive with X-ray crystallography and NMR. Fitting of individual structures into cryo EM maps of macromolecular complexes reveals interactions of their components and conformations of different functional states. Hybrid approaches combined with structural genomics uncover biological mechanisms. New approaches in analysis of thin cells and cryo-sections by tomography extend the range of EM from isolated complexes to cellular structures in situ.
The aim of this EMBO Practical 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 EM. The course will concentrate on processing of data collected by DED, for both single particle images and tomograms, and will be aimed at advanced PhD students and postdocs using cryo EM for structural analysis.