Cryo-Electron Microscopy (EM)
Cryo Electron Microscopy Lab Description
The Cryo-EM Laboratory focusses on the architectural characterization of macromolecular complexes as targets for a deeper understanding of the molecular bases of disease; as a result of such structural investigations, the mechanisms of drug action can be dissected, and the design of innovative drugs carried over. Pivotal to the experimental investigations carried out in the lab is the installation of a new FEI Talos Arctica 200 kV FEG electron microscope equipped with a state-of-the-art FEI Falcon 3EC direct electron detector and Volta Phase-plate. The Cryo-EM Lab also benefits from a dedicated sample preparation room to ensure the highest specimen quality and a GPU-based computing cluster for efficient and hustle-free data analysis. The Cryo-EM Lab aims at unraveling the three-dimensional structure and dynamics of large molecular machines at sub-nanometer resolution. The installation, the first of this kind in Italy, is supported by the University of Milano and by the Fondazione Invernizzi. Current lab staff are Prof. Martino Bolognesi and Dr. Paolo Swuec. A technician position is scheduled for the end of 2017.
The Cryo-EM Lab is set to characterise the architecture and dynamics of macromolecular complexes (proteins and/or nucleic acids) provided by scientists working in the CRC, at the University of Milano, and by external parties. The EM analyses, which start from properly purified samples delivered by the committing party, include preliminary and final sample characterisation phases (e.g. starting from negative staining EM experiments) that are strictly dependent on the sample nature and associated features. The Cryo-EM service aims at solving the three-dimensional structure of the sought 'particle' at the highest experimental resolution allowed by the sample.