Opening Doors to Cryo-EM

42nd Steenbock Symposium - Jun 07, 2022 to Jun 08, 2022


Keynote Speaker

Photo of David VeeslerDavid Veesler (he/him/his) is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Washington and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Veesler pioneered studies of coronavirus entry into cells and obtained molecular snapshots of the early stages of infection. Early in 2020, his lab identified the SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor and revealed the architecture of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. These data have been used by thousands of groups worldwide to understand the effect of mutations found in SARS-CoV-2 variants and to design countermeasures throughout the pandemic. He has been studying immunity elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination in real-time and identified a key site of vulnerability in the SARS-CoV-2 spike, which led his group to design a vaccine that focuses antibody responses on this Achilles heel. This highly potent vaccine is currently in late-stage clinical trials and will help meet the global demand for doses due to its exceptional scalability and high shelf-life stability. Veesler’s keynote presentation is titled, “Structure-guided coronavirus vaccine-design.” Visit David Veesler’s lab website:


Photo of Wah ChiuWah Chiu is the Wallenberg-Bienenstock Professor and a Professor of Bioengineering, Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Chiu is the director of the Stanford-SLAC Cryo-EM Center (S2C2), and the Stanford-SLAC CryoET Specimen Preparation Center (SCSC). Chiu's presentation is titled, "CryoEM is a tool to answer long-standing biochemistry puzzles." Visit Wah Chiu’s website:



Photo of Tim GrantTim Grant (he/him/his) is an investigator in the John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe Center for Research in Virology and an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at UW–Madison. His research combines his love of both biology and computing — developing new cryo-EM methodologies and applying them to solve structures relevant to human disease. He is the primary developer of cisTEM, a software package used to process single-particle cryo-EM from movies to high resolution structures. Grant’s presentation is titled, “New methodologies for preparing and imaging cryo-EM samples.” Grant's presentation is titled, "New methodologies for preparing and imaging cryo-EM samples." Visit Tim Grant’s lab website:

Photo of Danielle GrotjahnDanielle Grotjahn (she/her/hers) received her B.S. in biology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison while completing her College of Agricultural and Life Sciences honors thesis in the lab of Professor Francisco Pelegri. She joined Professor Gabe Lander’s lab at The Scripps Research Institute for her Ph.D. studies, where she used cryo-electron tomography to solve the first three-dimensional structure of the microtubule-bound dynein motor complex. After earning her Ph.D. in biophysics, she started her independent career as a Scripps Fellow in the Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology and receive a promotion to assistant professor in 2021. Grotjahn’s lab uses cryo-electron tomography to study the structural and functional interactions that mediate stress-induced modulations to dynamic mitochondrial networks in cells. She is the recipient of the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation award, the Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award, an Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation Fellowship, and a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. Grotjahn's presentation is titled, "Structure among the chaos: Using cellular tomography to study mitochondrial behavior." Visit Danielle Grotjahn’s lab website:

Photo of Andreas HoengerAndreas Hoenger is a Professor of Molecular Cellular & Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Hoenger co-directs the CU Boulder Center for Cryo-ET (CCET) along with Karolin Luger and Michael Stowell. Hoenger's presentation is titled, "Cryo-ET at CU Boulder: From Microtubules to Cells and Tissues." Visit Andreas Hoenger’s lab website:

Photo of Deb KellyDeb Kelly is the Director of the Center for Structural Oncology, the Huck Chair in Molecular Biophysics, and a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Penn State University. Kelly is also President of the Microscopy Society of America. Kelly's presentation is titled, "High-resolution Imaging of SARS-CoV-2 Sub-viral Assemblies Derived from COVID-19 Patients." Visit Deb Kelly’s lab website:

Photo of Robert KirchdoerferRobert Kirchdoerfer (he/him/his) is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and an Institute for Molecular Virology faculty member at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Kirchdoerfer's presentation is titled, "Co-factor Interactions in Alpha and Betacoronavirus Core Polymerase Complexes." Visit Robert Kirchdoerfer’s lab website:

Photo of Susan LeaSusan Lea is the Chief PI of the Center for Structural Biology in the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research. Lea is an internationally renowned structural biologist who has pioneered the use of mixed structural methods to study host-pathogen interactions and other medically important pathways. Her laboratory uses and develops cutting-edge structural methods, including cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography, to define molecular mechanisms involved in health and disease. Lea's presentation is titled, "Using protons in the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane." Visit Susan Lea’s website:

Photo of Ci Ji LimCi Ji Lim, “CJ”, (he/him/his) grew up in Singapore. CJ did his postdoctoral training with Tom Cech at CU Boulder where he studied telomeric protein-DNA complexes using single-particle cryo-electron microscopy. Now at UW-Madison, the Lim Lab is using a multidisciplinary approach to study human telomere replication and maintenance. Lim's presentation is titled, "Single-stranded DNA-binding Protein CST Sets the Stage for Human DNA Polymerase Alpha/Primase RNA-DNA Primer Synthesis." Visit Ci Ji Lim’s website:



Photo of Clint PotterClint Potter is a co-director of the Simons Electron Microscopy Center at the New York Structural Biology Center. For the last 25 years, his efforts have focused on the development of technology for advancing electron microscopy methods for structural biology through automation. He and Bridget Carragher have jointly directed the Simons Electron Microscopy Center at the New York Structural Biology Center since 2015. Potter is also the co-director of several national cryo-EM centers, including the National Resource for Automated Molecular Microscopy (NRAMM), the National Center for CryoEm Access and Training (NCCAT), and the National Center for In-situ Tomographic Ultramicroscopy (NCITU). Potter's presentation is titled, "Challenges of Cellular Cryotomography." Visit the New York Structural Biology Center website:

Photo of Mike SchmidMike Schmid is a Senior Scientist at Stanford University / SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Schmid is a co-PI of the Stanford-SLAC Cryo-EM Center (S2C2) and the Stanford-SLAC CryoET Specimen Preparation Center (SCSC). Schmid's presentation is titled, "Tubulin Intra- and Inter-polymer Interactions in Toxoplasma." Visit the Stanford-SLAC Cryo-Electron Microscopy website:

Photo of Michael StowellMichael Stowell received his Ph.D. in Chemistry and Biophysics from the California Institute of Technology and was a Postdoctoral Scientist at the MRC – Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge England and the Biophysics Department of Kyoto University, Japan. Dr. Stowell has authored publications in the fields of synthetic organic chemistry, mechanical engineering, structural biology, neurobiology, and biophysics and has used cryo-EM and cryo-ET to investigate synaptic proteins and synaptic architecture. He also co-directs the CU Boulder Center for Cryo-ET (CCET) along with Andreas Hoenger and Karolin Luger. Stowell's presentation is titled, "The Long Pursuit of the Muscle Type nAChR Structure: Using Chemistry to Tackle Biology." Visit Michael Stowell’s lab website:

Photo of Elizabeth WrightElizabeth Wright (she/her/hers) is the Director of the Cryo-Electron Microscopy Research Center at UW–Madison and the Midwest Center for Cryo-Electron Tomography, also based at UW–Madison. She is a Professor of Biochemistry at UW–Madison and an Investigator at the Morgridge Institute for Research. Visit the UW-Madison Cryo-EM Research Center website and Elizabeth Wright’s lab website at:

Photo of Jae YangJae Yang (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Scientist at the Midwest Center for Cryo-Electron Tomography and a staff scientist in Elizabeth Wright’s lab. Jae is also the recipient of the 2022 Boyer Award. The title of her Boyer Lecture is “In-situ cryo-electron tomography: Exploring cellular machinery at the nano-scale.” Read about Jae Yang's contributions to science: