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ZJU’s Center of Cryo-Electron Microscopy Officially Inaugurated

May 11, 2017

On May 9, Zhejiang University officially announced the establishment of the Center of Cryo-Electron Microscopy (CCEM). Luo Jianhong, Vice President of Zhejiang University, delivered a speech at the inauguration ceremony. Also present at the ceremony were leading experts in structural biology and electron microscopy, including Shi Yigong, Vice President of Tsinghua University, Wang Hongwei, Dean of the School of Life Sciences at Tsinghua University, and Xu Tao, Director of CAS’s Institute of Biophysics.

CCEM is equipped with a series of top-notch electronic microscopes, correlative light-electron microscopy imaging equipment, light-stimulated high-pressure cryogenic equipment, field-emission scanning electronic microscopes as well as supporting big data computing systems. It also offers a comprehensive platform for research into molecular cloning, protein expression and purification, and protein characterization. It is aimed at creating a world-class lab, thereby providing sophisticated technological support for researchers both at home and abroad.

“Life sciences cover a wide spectrum of domains, including fundamental science, agronomy, medical applications and biomedical engineering. The construction of trend-setting autonomous institutes and platforms will promote the development of life sciences,” said Luo Jianhong.

Shi Yigong stressed that cryo-EM would exert a sweeping impact on biology in various dimensions, including structural biology, cellular biology, medicine, developmental science and genetics.

In recent years, cryo-EM has become the mainstay in research into cells, viruses and protein. The design of microscopes, the development of imaging hardware and augmented image processing and automation have boosted the effectiveness of cryo-EM. The improved speed and degree of automation have been highly instrumental to high resolution. In addition, other structural measurement methods have assisted in the creation of an advanced model.

Zhang Xing is appointed as director of CCEM. He once served as Technical Director of Electron Imaging Center at UCLA and has long been committed to research into molecular structures and assembly mechanisms by means of cryo-EM techniques. CCEM also employs 1 Qiushi professor, 2 associate professors, 3 cryo-EM technicians and 1 faculty member in charge of the protein platform.