About the Practical Course

Structural Biology using Single Particle Cryo Electron Microscopy (SP CryoEM) has become a major tool for studying macromolecular assemblies. Visualising unprecedented details of cellular components, and solving in-situ protein structures are now possible with advancement in CryoEM methods. Developments in Field Emission Gun (FEG) Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) and other TEM hardware, CryoEM specimen preparation methods, automated data acquisition systems, Direct Electron Detectors and improved image processing softwares have led to ~ 2000 proteins/protein-DNA/RNA complex structures larger than 52 kDa in size being routinely solved with < 4 Å resolution. The highest resolution obtained so far for a single particle EM map deposited in Electron Microscopy Data Bank (EMBD) is 1.54 Å. However these cutting edge CryoEM methods for structural biology are relatively new to many labs in India and EMBC member states. There is an intense interest in the Indian and EMBC scientific community, particularly among structural biologists, about applications of this technique, which makes this course timely. This EMBO Practical Course will deal with Single particle Cryo Electron Microscopy of biological macromolecular assemblies and Cryo Electron Tomography of Cellular structures. In addition, allied topics like MicroED is also introduced.

After the immense success of the first and second CEM3DIP CryoEM course at IISER Thiruvananthapuram in 2016 and at IIT Delhi 2018, this course will be taught for the third time in India at IISER Kolkata and CSIR-IICB Kolkata, and it will be the second CryoEM EMBO Practical Course. This course will be of interest to molecular biologists, cell biologists, microbiologists, structural biologists (crystallographers), theoretical/computational biologists and in general many other area biologists, and mainly aimed at generally advanced PhD students or postdoctoral researchers and faculties.

Principal themes and objectives of this EMBO PRACTICAL COURSE: CEM3DIP 2020: Single particle CryoEM of macromolecular-assemblies and cellular tomography:

  1. To promote the field of macromolecular structure determination by CryoEM and Cellular Tomography in India and other EMBC member states.
  2. To teach scientists (biologists, structural biologists etc.) wishing to determine macromolecular or cellular structure by cryo Electron Microscopy, the basic principles and practical aspects of TEM in structural biology/structural cell biology.
  3. To provide hands on practice on specimen preparation, Fourier transform in image analysis, image processing for three-dimensional reconstruction. 3D Image Processing of Macromolecular Assemblies, and cellular Tomography.
  4. The main objective of this EMBO Practical Course is to enable participants (at student level, postdoc and laboratory PI level) to implement novel techniques, learnt in this course, in their home laboratories and create an avalanche effect.

Key words for this course would be ‘macromolecular-assemblies, Structural Biology / Macromolecular structure by single particle CryoEM, Cellular Tomography, MicroED, Multidisciplinary methods, Cryo EM as Hybrid methods’.