Hands-On Workshop on Cryo-EM Modeling Based on X-ray Crystallography

August 15, 2016 to August 19, 2016


  • Gunnar Schroeder (Forschungszentrum Juelich, Germany)
  • Klaus Schulten (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)




Single-particle cryo-electron microscopy is an emerging technique to determine structures of biological macromolecules, in particular large protein complexes. Cryo-EM has made tremendous technical advances in the past two years mainly due to the development of a new electron detector that allows for reconstructing density maps at resolutions below 4 Angstrom. This "resolution revolution" turned cryo-EM very quickly into a major technique for atomic structure determination of biomolecules. The cryo-EM community now needs to be trained in translating EM density maps into reliable atomic models.

The tutorial sets out to present recent developments in cryo-EM guided modeling of macromolecular structures and to offer participants practical experience in using these methods. Relevant concepts and computational methods will be introduced, and multiple case studies will be presented to showcase how these methods can lead to scientific discovery. Several leading experimental cryo-EM researchers have also confirmed their participation, their lectures providing an inspiration for the tutorial participants. The tutorial will provide a comprehensive overview of methods implemented in three different software packages, DireX, NAMD/VMD and Rosetta, which are currently the leading methods for cryo-EM guided modeling of macromolecular structures; publications associated with these methods received over 500 citations in the last several years.

The tutorial will cover practical methods for cryo-EM guided modeling implemented in DireX, NAMD and VMD, and Rosetta, in the form of hands-on tutorials and case studies. In addition, the lectures and hands-on tutorials will introduce the participants to relevant physical concepts, mathematical algorithms, and computational methods, including molecular dynamics simulation, de novo structure determination based on cryo-EM maps, deformable elastic networks, stereochemical validation of proteins and nucleic acids, improvement of low-resolution crystal structures, and quality checks of fitted structures.

Deadline for application is June 15, 2016.