CryoEM Data Collection Facility Consortium at NCMI

  • Kelly, Deb (CoPI)
  • Chiu, W.A.H. (PI)
  • Sherman, Michael (CoI)
  • Stewart, Phoebe (CoI)
  • Bullitt, Esther (CoI)
  • Gogol, Edward Peter (CoI)
  • Huilin, Li (CoI)
  • Zhang, Junjie (CoI)
  • Xiao, Chuan (CoI)

Project: Research project


? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The National Center for Macromolecular Imaging (NCMI) at Baylor College of Medicine is the host laboratory offering to provide a portion of the time on their JEM3200FSC and JEM2200FS electron microscopes for a cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) and tomography (cryoET) data acquisition facility Consortium. Both instruments are equipped with a field emission gun and an in-column energy filter, while the JEM2200FS also has a Zernike phase plate attachment. Both instruments are currently equipped with DE20 and DE12 cameras operated in integrating mode. These microscopes have been used productively for a variety of biological specimens, including macromolecules, molecular machines and cells, at state-of-the-art resolution. Our facilities will be allocated for he proposed Consortium while taking into account the ongoing research in the host institution. Our lead PI, Wah Chiu is a recognized expert in pushing cryoEM and cryoET beyond current boundaries and has decades of experience in leading several NIH funded research centers and academic training programs. There are 11 participating institutions across the USA, led by investigators who have a research track record in cryoEM and/or cryoET. Day-to-day operation will be carried out by a part-time cryoEM/ET scientist and IT staff. Both in person and remote data collection protocols will be used for distant users. The Consortium will provide travel funds for the distant users. We request funding for a Direct Detection Device (DDD) operated in counting mode to meet the needs of all types of specimens. The host Institution will provide an administrative assistant to support user visits and various Consortium activities, and matching funds to purchase the DDD and adequate hard drives for short-term data storage. The participating PIs will be involved in formulating the specific policies for Consortium governance and developing training activities. Scheduling will be allocated evenly in the first year among participants with some flexibility based on specimen readiness. Allocation of microscope times and priorities will be assigned in the second year and beyond based on recommendations of an external microscope allocation committee appointed by all the PIs to avoid conflict of interest. Al PIs will meet quarterly on WebEx to discuss technical and administrative issues, and we will hold an annual user meeting. An annual review of all aspects of the Consortium operation and the data outcomes of the users will be conducted by an advisory committee to assure the highest productivity and usage of the proposed facility. The membership of the participating institutions will be dynamically reviewed by all the PIs with the inputs from the external advisory committee after the second year of our operation.
Effective start/end date7/15/166/30/21


  • National Institutes of Health: $515,592.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $515,592.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $1,054,750.00


Electron microscopy
Imaging techniques
Field emission
Data acquisition
Electron microscopes
Data storage equipment