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2019 ACA Cryo-EM Workshop

The Workshop on Biological Structure Determination using Cryo-EM was held on July 22-23, 2019 as part of the American Crystallographic Association Annual Meeting in Covington, Kentucky USA. Co-organized by Cathy Lawson (Rutgers U), Wen Jiang (Purdue U), and Michael Cianfrocco (U Michigan) and sponsored by ThermoFisher Scientific, Electron Microscopy Sciences, MiTeGen, and Amazon Web Services, the two-afternoon workshop had over 80 registered attendees. This was the 2nd year that ACA's Cryo-EM SIG has offered a workshop on this topic (see 2018 workshop page).

Cryo-EM is rapidly becoming the method of choice for structure determination of proteins larger than ~100 kDa, including membrane proteins, large assemblies and multi-protein complexes. Cryo-EM instrumentation is being installed in many universities, and is also available at large multiuser facilities both in the U.S. and worldwide. This workshop, which was held on two consecutive afternoons during the ACA 2019 main meeting (Mon. and Tues.), introduced scientists with crystallographic backgrounds to procedures used cryo-EM.

Lectures focused on the steps involved in producing a cryo-EM map, from specimen preparation and data collection through to image processing and reconstruction. Aspects of workshop were hands-on: state-the-art programs were used by the students to process sample datasets.

This workshop was intended benefit those who want to use cryo-EM in the future, or who have recently transitioned into it, with up-to-date discussions of cutting-edge methods and technology.

Materials for the workshop can be accessed HERE(Dropbox) or HERE(ftp) and through the links below.


For the particle picking and reconstruction tutorials, each student was given access to their own GPU computing node on the AWS cloud, as well as a temporary CryoSparc license, and was requested to install UCSF Chimera in advance of the workshop.


Day 1: July 22, 2019
Time Instructor Topic
13:30 Cathy Lawson Workshop Introduction
13:35 Edward Eng Lecture: What to Expect from Cryo-EM (National Service Centers)
14:00 Wen Jiang Lecture: Cryo-EM Image Formation
14:45 Jeff Lengyel The Latest and Greatest in CryoEM Technology
15:00 Coffee Break
15:15 Leifu Chang Lecture: Grid Preparation and Data Collection for Cryo-EM
16:15 Brenda Gonzalez CryoVR: Virtual Reality Training & Outreach Tools for Cryo-EM
16:45 Michael Cianfrocco Preparation for Day 2 Demo

Day 2: July 23, 2019
Time Instructor Topic
13:30 Wen Jiang Lecture: Image Processing & 3D Reconstruction
14:35 Michael Cianfrocco Lecture: Cloud Computing Tools for Cryo-EM
15:00 Coffee Break
15:15 Michael Cianfrocco Demo: Cloud Computing Tools for Cryo-EM
16:00 Leifu Chang Lecture: Strategies for Difficult Specimens
16:30 Michael Cianfrocco Demo: Cloud Computing Tools for Cryo-EM wrap-up

updated 23 Jul 2019

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