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Laboratory for Cryo-Electron Microscopy

Through Intel® PCCSB program, DFCI and CNS collaboratively established the Laboratory for Cryo-Electron Microscopy at Harvard University. The Laboratory for Cryo-Electron Microscopy is dedicated to scientific research expanding the landscape and methodology of cryo-electron microscopy in determining the structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules, as well as their interactions in complexes, pathways, and systems. The current research in the laboratory coherently interfaces with and complements the Intel® PCCSB programs. We focus on the development of enabling experimental and computational technology in imaging biological macromolecules, pushing the envelope of structural biology and molecular medicine, with emphasis on its potential merit in translation into clincal applications. Current avenues in the laboratory are briefly described in the following.
(1) Improving sample preparation for optimal recording of high-frequency structure infomation;
(2) Evolving the philosophy, principle and tools of structural exploration at both single-molecule and systems level;
(3) Applications of novel methods and techiques related to cryo-electron microscopy to tackle a series of significant biomedical problems, such as membrane-fusion mechanism during viral entry, protein degredation system during mitosis, etc.