Skip to main content
Colloquium | Advanced Photon Source

MicroED: Conception, Practice, and Future Opportunities

APS Colloquium

Abstract: In 2013, we unveiled the MicroED method (electron diffraction of microscopic crystals) and demonstrated that it is feasible to determine high-resolution protein structures by electron crystallography of three-dimensional crystals in an electron cryomicroscope (CryoEM). The CryoEM is used in diffraction mode for structural analysis of proteins of interest using crystals that are a billion times smaller in volume than those used for X-ray crystallography.

In this seminar, I will describe the basics of this method, from concept to data collection, analysis, and structure determination, and illustrate how samples that were previously unattainable can now be studied by MicroED. I will conclude by highlighting how this new method is helping us understand major brain diseases like Parkinson’s disease, helping us discover and design new drugs, shedding new light on chemical synthesis, and showing us an unprecedented level of detail with subatomic resolution.

Bio: Tamir Gonen is an expert in electron crystallography and CryoEM. Gonen is a professor of biological chemistry and physiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles, an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and a member of the Royal Society of New Zealand.