Posted: January 4, 2010

JEOL Cryo-TEM to Enable New Structural Biology Research at University of Texas El Paso

(Nanowerk News) JEOL USA is pleased to announce that the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) has selected a JEOL cryo-electron microscope for its emerging structural biology program. The instrument, a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) will be housed in a new building planned for completion in 2011 on the UTEP campus. The JEM-3200FS that was ordered from JEOL USA is a 300 keV cryo-TEM with an omega energy filter for increased contrast and high resolution.
The UTEP research program, directed by structural biologists Dr. Ricardo Bernal and Dr. Chuan “River” Xiao, will utilize cryo-electron microscopy for single particle reconstructions and tomography.
“This 300 keV field emission gun TEM will provide all the capabilities we need to establish a world class facility at UTEP,” Dr. Bernal said. “Our goal is to set up a structural biology program that includes macromolecular NMR, macromolecular X-ray crystallography, and cryo-EM.”
Research projects for the new JEOL cryo-TEM include the structure determination of bacteriophages, viruses that infect and kill bacteria, in an effort to find alternatives to antibiotics which are losing their effectiveness due to bacterial resistance. The TEM will also be used to analyze the structure of picornavirus/receptor complexes, responsible for more than 50 percent of all human common colds. Other projects include the structure of ATPases and chaperonins. The expertise of Drs. Bernal and Xiao has resulted in collaborations on more than 12 research projects involving nine researchers across four departments and two universities.
In one of the largest instrumentation grants awarded to UTEP, the National Science Foundation will fund the purchase of the new high resolution, high performance cryo-TEM, which will be shipped from JEOL, Ltd. in Akashima, Japan. The JEM-3200FS will include an optional JEOL Automated Data Acquisition System (JADAS) specially developed for cryo-electron microscopy, and a high tilt tomography cryo-transfer system. The JEM-3200FS combines high resolution and 0-loss sample imaging with analytical performance in a 300kV class analytical TEM. The modular nature of the JEM-3200FS will allow easy adaptation to emerging and promising techniques, such as phase-plate microscopy using Zernike and electro-static phase plates.
“This is one of the JEOL high end TEMs that is gaining widespread use in the U.S. specifically for cryo-tomography. We have worked closely with customers to develop more of the features structural biologists need,” said Dr. Thomas Isabell, Director of TEM at JEOL USA.
Source: JEOL USA (press release)
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