December 18, 2019

2019 Triangle Area Cryo-EM Symposium

DURHAM, NC -- For two days Structural Biologists, from across the Piedmont, attended the first ever 2019 Triangle Area Cryo-EM Symposium in Durham, NC. The event, funded in part by an Interdisciplinary Colloquium Grant from the Duke School of Medicine, allowed researchers from Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, North Carolina State University and East Carolina University to share scientific data and discoveries in the field of Cryo-EM technology. Cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) is a technique that produces high resolution images at the atomic level, allowing researchers to determine the biomolecular structures of proteins, enzymes and macromolecular complexes. Cryo-EM is an important technique as it gives researchers an opportunity to better understand the molecular basis for diseases and consequently determine what is needed to create successful vaccines and therapeutics. The meeting, with over 20 oral presentations and ten poster presentations covering membrane proteins, enzymes, macromolecular complexes, validation and method development, enabled an open exchange of ideas and questions between colleagues at all levels. Notable Duke attendees included Dr. Colin Duckett, Vice Dean for Basic Science, Dr. Richard Brennan, Chair of the Department of Biochemistry, Dr. Barton Haynes, Director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute and Dr. Robert J. Lefkowitz, James B. Duke Professor of Medicine, Duke University (plenary speaker). Researchers left feeling encouraged by the progress of Cryo-EM technology and prospects for future developments.