Collaboration aims to accelerate cyro-EM research 

Amgen and the University of Southern California (USC) are working together to provide researchers access to two cryo-transmission electron microscopes (cryo-EMs) – the Thermo Scientific Krios and Glacios. 

Access to the two instruments in one shared location allows researchers from both institutions to combine resources to bring more speed and power to their biotechnology research. 

Amgen will use the instruments to better understand disease mechanisms as they analyse potential drug targets, focusing on three techniques: single particle analysis, micro electron diffraction, and cryo-tomography. 

USC will provide instrument expertise to Amgen, while advancing its own research, including using the cryo-EMs to complete the development of an atomic-level map of the entire human cell, one of their most prominent projects. 

Housed at the Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience at USC’s University Park Campus, these instruments offer built-in connectivity that will enable researchers from both institutions to increase their disease research productivity. Using these two instruments as part of their workflow, researchers will be able to pre-screen samples at moderate resolutions on the Glacios, and then transfer the best-quality samples for imaging at the highest resolutions on the Krios. 

Stephen Bradforth, USC Dornsife Divisional Dean for Physical Sciences, said: “Housing these instruments in USC’s new Center for Nanoimaging will drive fundamental research underpinning advances in human health across our campuses. We believe it will help us continue to attract top students and faculty to USC as we dramatically expand our presence in the field of structural biology.” 

Image credit: Carolyn Marks/USC Core Center of Excellence in Nano Imaging 

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