The 3D-EM Network of Excellence brings together the leading scientists in electron microscopy (EM) from seven European countries. The specialists for the various EM-technologies electron tomography, single particle analysis, and electron crystallography will combine their expertise to reach a very ambitious goal: the three-dimensional (3D) imaging of macromolecules and molecular machines at atomic resolution, with the prospect of a 3D imaging of cell organelles and whole cells.
The determination of the 3D structure of macromolecules (as e.g. proteins), of their interactions and their localisation in cells is essential for the understanding of complex biological processes. It is of particular interest to biotechnological and biomedical companies in the development of novel pharmaceuticals. Recognizing the emerging demand for this type of "Structural Genomics" research, the European Commission has opened opportunities for funding within its Sixth' Research Framework Programme.
The 3D-EM Network of Excellence will provide a platform to integrate and coordinate the efforts of individual European research groups in the EM field. The collaborative activities of the Network will foster innovation and the spreading of novel technology and methodology in the individual partner laboratories. A close cooperation of the 3D-EM Network with the European Microscopy Society (EMS) will support the dissemination of information on these innovations throughout the EM community.
In the five years to come, activities in the 3D-EM consortium will focus on:
(1) The development of a high level training programme in structural biology. The training activities will be established in close collaboration with the European Molecular Biology Lab, Heidelberg (EMBL), the organizer of the renowned series of high level "EMBO-courses". Training c
Contact: Dr. Anne Katrin Werenskiold