The grant will also help the university upgrade its electron microscopy and tomography facility
The University of Colorado Boulder will be one of four national centers designed to advance the application of cryoelectron tomography (cryoET), which helps visualize in 3-D the fine-structure of intact cells and tissues, the National Institutes of Health announced (NIH) today.
CU Boulder scientists, who have been at the forefront of this technology, have won a six-year, $7 million grant for the center.
Cryo-electron tomography is a method in which vitrified specimens are imaged at different tilt angles in an electron microscope to construct high-resolution three-dimensional images.
The principal investigators of the new service center are Andreas Hoenger and Michael Stowell from the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Karolin Luger from the Department of Biochemistry.
CU Boulder scientists, who have been at the forefront of this technology, have won a four-year, $7 million grant for the center."
Through this grant (1 U24 GM139174-01), researchers from around the country will receive remote and on-site training and technical assistance in sample preparation for cryoelectron tomography from CU Boulder experts.
The grant will also help the university upgrade its electron microscopy and tomography facility, especially with a new scanning electron microscope, supplemented with a focused ion beam miller (FIB-SEM). This instrument will produce vitrified lamellae of cells and tissues, which will then be imaged with cryoET.
CU Boulder has five decades of leadership in electron microscopy. The founding chair of the MCDB Department, Keith Porter (after whom Porter Biosciences is named), followed by J. Richard McIntosh, was one of the pioneers of cellular electron microscopy.
Through the work of Professor Emeritus Andrew Staehelin and McIntosh, MCDB also pioneered the subfields of electron microscopy, high-pressure freezing, freeze-etch and freeze-fracture EM. And for many years, MCDB hosted one of a handful of High Voltage Electron Microscope National Centers and the Boulder Laboratory for 3D Electron Microscopy of Cells.
More recently, CU Boulder acquired a $5 Million Krios cryo-electron microscope, spearheaded by Luger and other contributors, which places Boulder at the forefront of cryo-EM based cellular and macro-molecular research.
For more information, visit the National Institutes of Health website.
BioKEM—or Biochemistry Krios Electron Microscopy—is now open and available to CU Boulder researchers and occasional external or industry use.