University of Wisconsin-Madison: New cryo-electron microscopy centers help UW researchers uncover mysteries of life

At the Steenbock Symposium on June 7 and 8, 2022, the University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Biochemistry opened its doors in celebration of two new research centers that bring to campus advanced biomolecular imaging technology called cryo-electron microscopy.

The technology allows scientists to capture detailed information about the smallest components of living cells to understand everything from more effective drug development to how viruses infect cells. It relies on ultra-cold temperatures during biomolecular specimen preservation and imaging and requires the right combination of expertise and highly specialized equipment.

The UW–Madison Cryo-Electron Microscopy Research Center and the NIH-sponsored Midwest Center for Cryo-Electron Tomography represent a continuation of UW–Madison’s long history of contributions to structural biology. The event featured tours of the centers and scientific talks and posters about cryo-EM.

Both centers provide instrumentation, training, technical assistance and support to UW–Madison researchers, as well as access to cryo-EM. The centers are also open to other universities and to private industry.

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