Cryo-Electron Tomography (cryoET) is an emerging technique that can resolve subcellular structures in situ with potential to reach subnanometer resolutions.  Correlated cryo-fluorescence light microscopy (cryoFLM) and cryoET of frozen, hydrated cells can be used to study cellular and molecular functions and dynamics in the 3D context of cells and tissues at a higher resolution than any other imaging technique. For samples which are traditionally too thick for imaging via cryoET, a focused ion beam (FIB) can be used to produce thin lamellae (~100-300 nm) from frozen, hydrated cells containing targets of interest. The combination of cryoET, cryoFLM, and/or cryoFIB along with various other cryoET sample preparation techniques will enable researchers to study macromolecular complexes, at subnanometer resolutions, in their native environment of intact cells.

MISSION STATEMENT:

The missions of the Stanford-SLAC CryoET Center (SCSC) are:

  • To provide access to state-of-the-art instrumentation and knowledge about cryoET specimen preparation
  • To provide user training and support, to increase the ability of the community to perform cryoET experiments, particularly in cells
  • To implement developments of new technologies and workflows for cryoET sample preparation

When operational, the Center will implement state-of-the-art cryo-specimen preparation devices.  We will provide expert staff that trains, assists, and advises users, both onsite and remotely, and be available for consultation beforehand and in a follow-up program.  We will cross-train scientists who want to employ cryoET within their own research portfolios.  Our training will be targeted at a wide variety of skill levels - including short-term and long-term in-residence training programs for cryoET sample preparation.  Access to the Center will be through an open process based on scientific merit.

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