November 9, 2006 (Peabody, Mass.) -- JEOL USA announced that it will deliver the first of its new 120kV Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEMs) to Georgia Institute of Technology in January 2007. The JEOL JEM-1400 is a versatile, compact TEM, optimized for biological, polymer, and materials research and designed for Cryo-EM applications.
The TEM will be in operation at Georgia Tech’s School of Biology in the Cherry Emerson Building until it can be moved to the new state-of-the-art, cryo-electron microscope facility in the Marcus Nanotechnology Building. Georgia Tech broke ground on the new building in August 2006, and expects completion in summer 2008. The new building will house facilities for physical science, engineering, biological, and biomedical nanotechnology research, and serve both the university and the private sector.
Biophysicist and Asst. Biology Professor Dr. Ingeborg Schmidt-Krey will oversee the TEM installation and setup for diverse applications in the biology department. Dr. Schmidt-Krey uses electron crystallography to study the structure and function of eukaryotic membrane proteins, with relevance to asthma and blood coagulation. “Eukaryotic membrane proteins comprise approximately sixty percent of all drug targets and are consequently immensely important for biomedical research,” she said.
With the JEM-1400 she will continue the research she initiated at Harvard Medical School and most recently worked on at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biophysics using a high resolution 300kV JEOL JEM-3000SFF TEM.
“The JEM-1400’s new TEM software allows us to make it available to the wide range of users, from highly experienced electron cryo-microscopists to students,” said Dr. Schmidt-Krey. Additionally, for screening of multiple samples, the Penta sample holder makes it possible to screen five TEM samples in rapid succession. “The five-sample holder allows for quick sample transfer and comparison, which is enormously important for electron crystallography, where careful and rapid screening is paramount.”
Dr. Schmidt-Krey is collaborating with researchers at Harvard Medical School to uncover the distinct reaction mechanism of a membrane protein that plays a significant role in asthma, and also with researchers at the University of North Carolina who are studying the role of a membrane protein important in blood coagulation.
The JEM-1400 was developed for Cryo-EM applications. It has a wide resolution range that falls between light microscopy and high resolution imaging, and will allow Dr. Schmidt-Krey to study proteins in two-dimensional crystals that cannot easily be analyzed, or study individual protein macromolecules by means of single particle analysis. “The TEM’s power lies in combining high resolution crystal structures with EM data for functional studies,” she said.
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