Back to Project List

Expanding Latin American Cryo-EM Biomedical Research

Award Expanding Global Access to Bioimaging

Project Summary

Visualizing the mechanisms of action of biological complexes is of paramount importance to achieve a thorough understanding of biological systems. Expanding access to high-end cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) imaging facilities, combined with extensive training in the underlying cryo-EM 2D and 3D image-processing methodologies, is fundamental to support a community of bioimaging researchers, particularly on a continent like Latin America that has suffered serious recent outbreaks of viral diseases like Zika and COVID-19. 


This project will expand the activities of the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory (LNNano), part of the Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials), cryo-EM imaging core facility, and educate newcomers in using cryo-EM hardware and the associated image-processing software instrumentation. This project will support a cryo-EM data processing training course, provide financial support for users to travel and/or ship samples to the imaging facility, and establish an integrated and efficient pipeline for collecting and characterizing large cryo-EM image datasets. 


This team will improve the quality-control procedures for the core-facility microscopes and cameras, based on statistical analysis of collected image datasets, as well as support the development of time-resolved cryo-EM sample preparation and imaging. Increasing access to cryo-EM in Latin America will advance scientists’ understanding of health and disease.


Principal Investigator
Marin van Heel, Prof Dr Ir
Marin van Heel, Prof Dr Ir
Co-Principal Investigators
Rodrigo V. Portugal, PhD
Rodrigo V. Portugal, PhD