A Workshop on Advanced Topics in EM Structure Determination
November 9-14, 2014
National Resource for Automated Molecular Microscopy
The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), La Jolla, California.
Between November 9 and 14, 2014, the National Resource for Automated Molecular Microscopy held the sixth in a series of biennial training courses in cryo-electron microscopy. The course was originally established as a hands-on teaching conference in 2003, and has evolved into an intense, high-level forum on cutting-edge issues. This year the goal of the course, ” Workshop on Advanced Topics in EM Structure Determination: Where do we go from here”, was to discuss the major new advances in EM methodology and how to best take advantage of these going forward. Topics on the agenda included improvements in specimen preparation, imaging, detectors, processing and reconstruction, and methods for validation.
The basic format of the course included theoretical and introductory lectures in the mornings followed by more practical lectures and demonstrations and panel discussions in the afternoon. Evenings were reserved for poster presentations by participants and research talks by new investigators. The organizers and instructors for the course included: David Agard (UCSF), Xiaochen Bai (MRC), John Briggs (EMBL), Melody Campbell (TSRI), Bridget Carragher (TSRI), Yifan Cheng (UCSF), Anchi Cheng (TSRI), Wah Chiu (Baylor), Rado Danev (MPI), David DeRosier (Brandeis), Frank DiMaio (U. Washington), Joachim Frank (Columbia), Bob Glaeser (LBL), Leslie Greengard (Simons Foundation/NYU), Niko Grigorieff (JFRC/HHMI), Justin Kollman (U. Washington), Gabe Lander (TSRI), Steve Ludtke (Baylor), Greg McMullan (MRC), Ron Milligan (TSRI), Eva Nogales (UC Berkeley/HHMI), Melanie Ohi (Vanderbilt U.), Lori Passmore (MRC), Pawel Penczek (U. Texas), Clint Potter (TSRI), Peter Rosenthal (MRC), John Rubinstein (Toronto), Carsten Sachse (EMBL), Sjors Scheres (MRC), Daniel Southworth (U. Michigan), Henning Stahlberg (U. Basel), Holger Stark (MPI), David Vessler (TSRI), Elizabeth Villa (UCSD), Tom Walz (Harvard), Minglei Zhao (Stanford U.).
A total of 158 people participated in the workshop and there was a long waiting list. Participants included senior and junior scientists, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The students were drawn from a wide geographic area (including the United States, Singapore, Australia, China, Switzerland, Germany and England). Approximately one third of the students were women.
The overall success of the course was due in large part to the outstanding quality of the lecturers and the participants. We were once again fortunate that many of the most eminent researchers in the field of cryoEM agreed to volunteer their time and effort in a variety of ways.
As was the case for the previous training courses, the presentations from the 2014 course have been made available over the web in the form of slides accompanied by audio files of the lectures. This is a very effective means of distributing this material that now serves as a general resource to the community as well as a refresher for the students if they choose to revisit the material.
Financial support for the workshop was provided by generous support from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (GM104946), The Scripps Research Institute, The Agouron Institute, FEI Company, Gatan Inc., and Direct Electron.
Acknowledgements: Special thanks go to Lorraine Lathrop, Lyn’Al Nosaka and Nancy De Monte. Their hard work contributed to an exceptionally smooth running event.