42nd Steenbock Symposium registration now open! Department of Biochemistry to launch new cryo-electron microscopy centers June 7

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The University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Biochemistry will host the grand opening of its Cryo-Electron Microscopy Research Center (CEMRC) and Midwest Center for Cryo-Electron Tomography (MCCET) at 8:30 a.m. on June 7. The grand opening is part of the department’s 42nd Steenbock Symposium held June 7-8, 2022.

The CEMRC and MCCET, housed in nearly 7,700 square feet of space in the H.F. DeLuca Biochemical Sciences Complex, will build on the important work of talented researchers, hone UW–Madison’s competitive edge in a rapidly evolving field and make vital discoveries that have the potential to transform lives. The centers represent a continuation of the university’s long history of contributions to structural and cell biology, virology, and medicine and bring state-of-the-art technologies including cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) to campus. These technologies use ultra-cold temperatures to capture detailed information about the smallest components of living cells.

Scientists and the public are invited to register to attend the Steenbock Symposium by visiting the symposium website. In-person and virtual programming options are available. Highlights of the symposium include scientific talks and posters, hands-on workshops, and facilities tours.

The CEMRC provides access to cryo-EM instrumentation, training, and technical assistance for both UW–Madison and external researchers. UW–Madison researchers are already using the center in diverse and innovative ways that will help keep the campus at the bioscience frontier, such as vaccine and drug development, human cell structure studies, and technological advances to pioneer next-generation instrumentation and computation. The MCCET will support investigators from around the world by providing access to advanced cryo-ET specimen preparation, data collection, and data processing and validation, as well as hands-on, remote, and virtual training in these techniques.

Both centers have the critical job of training the next generation of structural biologists and expanding access to essential technologies for this work. They are also creating jobs and leading to engagements with biotechnology companies, representing a major return on investment in advanced structural biology technologies.

The $17.5 million CEMRC project was made possible by contributions from the Department of Biochemistry, Morgridge Institute for Research, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, School of Medicine and Public Health, UW Carbone Cancer Center, Department of Neuroscience, and Department of Biomolecular Chemistry.

The $23.6 million MCCET project is supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Biochemistry. The MCCET is also supported by matching funds from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

The Steenbock Symposium is hosted by the Department of Biochemistry. To register for the symposium and learn more click here.

Media Contact: Catherine Steffel, UW–Madison Department of Biochemistry Communications Specialist, csteffel@wisc.edu