Electron Microscopy Core

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EM Core Leader: Yifan Cheng

During the last few years, major technological breakthroughs led in part by the Cheng lab, have enabled a resolution revolution in single particle electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) that has transformed the field, making it routinely possible to determine high resolution cryo-EM structures of even the most challenging targets.  This core will apply state-of-the-art single particle cryo-EM technology, including further technological advances as needed, to solve critical HIV structural biology questions.

The EM Core has developed novel methods to break through the technical limitations of single particle cryo-EM to determine the structures of relatively small HIV-host protein complexes and membrane protein complexes, including novel programs, algorithms, instrumentation and development of the Fast cryo-EM method (Fab-assisted single particle cryo-EM).  Collaborative work with the Craik lab provides new methodological approaches for Fab identification and purification as well as generation of Fabs to assist in obtaining high resolution structures of HIV-host complexes and functional characterization.