FEI Company today announced that it has been selected as the sole corporate member, amongst 15 leading European laboratories, in the 3D Electron Microscopy Network, a euro 10million initiative sponsored by the European Union. The program is focused on fostering collaboration among European life science experts in the field of cryo-electron microscopy to work towards three-dimensional imaging of cell structures at atomic resolution.
The characterization and understanding of the 3D structure of macromolecules such as proteins, and of their interactions and their localization in cells, is essential for the understanding of complex biological processes. This 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 is funding this and other related projects within its Framework Programme 6.
"The role of FEI is to ensure a close interaction of academic and applied research within the network and to help develop advanced industrial applications for 3D ultra-high resolution imaging for life science studies," explained Rob Fastenau, vice president and general manager of FEI's Electron Optics Division based in the Netherlands. "FEI's participation in this important program is an acknowledgement of FEI as a leading international manufacturer for high performance instrumentation and applications for life scientists."
"As part of the program, FEI will develop high-level training programs for 3D imaging of biological structures that will be used to train scientists across Europe," says Werner Hax, life science product manager for FEI's Electron Optics Division. "These training courses and workshops will focus on multiple areas including cryo-electron microscopy, electron tomography, bio computing and image processing, among others. They will be offered by the FEI Academy, based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands."
The public dissemination of novel standard procedures through 3D-EM ultimately will allow state-of-the-art structural research to be performed all over Europe.
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