• Cryo-EM Method Receives Recognition for Success

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Cryo-EM Method Receives Recognition for Success

Jan 25 2016

FEI is pleased to announce that cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has been named* “Method of the Year 2015.” “State-of-the-art cryo-electron microscopes are impacting biomedical research like never before, delivering atomic-level, three-dimensional structures of medically-important proteins to university and pharmaceutical company scientists with unprecedented speed and accuracy,” said Professor Stephen K. Burley, M.D., D. Phil. Director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. “Over the next few years, these new instruments will enable the power of structure-guided drug discovery to be brought to bear on entirely new classes of disease-causing proteins, particularly those responsible for neurological and psychiatric illnesses where there remain enormous, unmet medical needs,” added Burley.   

Nature Methods’ recognition of cryo-EM as ‘Method of the Year 2015’ is an extremely prestigious award within the life science research community,” said Peter Fruhstorfer, vice president and general manager of the Life Sciences business, FEI. “We are deeply gratified to know that our investments in developing and commercialising the technique are paying important dividends in scientific advancements that have the potential to benefit the well-being of all.”

Biologists use cryo-EM to study the structure and function of cells, viruses and protein assemblies at the molecular, sub-nanometer scale. Technological advancements in microscope design, imaging hardware, enhanced image processing and automation have helped to catapult the technique’s success. Established methods for structure determination, such as x-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, are now routinely integrated with cryo-EM density maps to achieve atomic-resolution models of complex, dynamic molecular assemblies.

*Nature Methods, January 2016 issue

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