The cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) facility, established in 2016, counts with state-of-the-art equipment for preparation and imaging of vitrified biological specimens. The aim of the facility is to provide state-of-the-art equipment and know-how for determination of high-resolution three-dimensional macromolecular structures.
The centerpiece of the facility is a 200 kV FEI Talos Arctica X-FEG transmission electron microscope (TEM) outfitted with an Autoloader specimen handling system, a CETA CMOS camera and a Gatan K2 direct electron detector (DED; to be upgraded to the K3 model in the spring of 2018). The facility also counts with a new 120kV Talos L120C TEM for low-resolution work in stain and cryo and for cryo-sample screening. A Gatan Solarus 950 plasma cleaning system, an FEI Vitrobot Mark IV, glow discharge and carbon evaporation systems, and all other ancillary equipment required for cutting-edge cryo-EM work are available. Cryo-EM data collection is fully automated using the Leginon system. All TEM image data is directed to a web-accessible database that makes possible remote monitoring of data collection and on-the-fly preliminary image analysis (DED frame alignment, image evaluation, particle picking, etc.) using Appion.
The facility is located in the heart of the Anschutz Medical School Campus, on the ground level of the RC-1 South Building (Rm 1301B). It is directed by Francisco Asturias and is managed by Peter Van Blerkom, both in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics.