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Cryo-EM: Faster Research & Drug Discovery

As the cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) renaissance takes hold, major science foundations are funding new facilities and supporting specific research to back this revolution in imaging technology.

Cryo-EM is helping researchers to uncover the detailed workings of the building blocks of life, leading to a better understanding of a wide range of diseases including:

  • Neurogenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s
  • Cancer
  • HIV
  • Malaria
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular diseases

Ultimately, the discoveries revealed through cryo-EM are expected to bring about new vaccines and medications that prevent and fight common diseases, taking modern medicine to the next level.

Investing in cryo-EM helps you stay competitive

Cryo-EM allows researchers to examine the architecture of cells, viruses, and protein structures at near-atomic resolutions—an advance previously impossible with traditional techniques such as x-ray crystallography. The method is increasingly being adopted by leading-edge institutions, which consider the tool an integral part of their success. In fact, the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize in chemistry was awarded to three researchers who had spent decades advancing cryo-EM.

Cryo-EM makes it possible to map a wide variety of biological structures in unprecedented detail, which, in turn, will accelerate our understanding of human biology and the alterations that affect disease. Organizations that invest in cryo-EM will be the leaders in their field—attracting the most talented scientists, and, ultimately, more grants and funding. The more advanced research that cryo-EM produces is also leading to publication in the most renowned scientific journals. In fact, institutions adopting cryo-EM are dramatically increasing the number of publications in which their structural biology research appears.

Cutting-edge institutions are moving to cryo-EM

Leading universities across the world are building state-of-the-art cryo-EM facilities, giving their researchers access to this leading-edge technology. With a highly detailed understanding of viruses, molecules, and complex biological machines inside the cell, institutions have the opportunity to develop new vaccines and medications that fight disease.

Says James Whisstock, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Monash University, "It became very clear to me that the future of structural biology was going to incorporate, to a very large degree, electron microscopy. And if we weren't in this game, as structural biologists we would very rapidly be left behind by those that were."

While adoption of cryo-EM is growing, obtaining the resources needed to build a cryo-EM lab can be a challenge. Thermo Fisher Scientific will work with your organization to remove the barriers so you can begin investing in this cutting-edge technology.

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