About the Practical Course
Cryo electron microscopy (cryo EM) is a major structural biology method for studying macromolecular complexes and cellular structures in their native states. It can be used to sort out heterogeneous conformations to capture steps in the operation of macromolecular machines. Stable high resolution cryo microscopes, direct electron detectors and automated systems for data collection now allow almost routine biomolecular structure determination at atomic or near-atomic resolution. In structural studies by electron tomography the resolution has improved to the subnanometer range. Fitting of individual structures into cryo EM maps of macromolecular complexes reveals interactions of their components and conformations of different functional states. Hybrid approaches combining EM with optical microscopy and dynamic studies uncover biological mechanisms. New approaches in analysis of thin cells and cryo-lamellae by tomography extend the range of EM from isolated complexes to cellular structures in situ.
The aim of the course is to teach the basic principles and practical aspects of image processing to structural and molecular biologists wishing to determine macromolecular structures by cryo EM. The course will concentrate on processing of high-resolution image data, for both single particle images and tomograms, and will be aimed at advanced PhD students and postdocs using cryo EM for structural analysis.