Public Health Relevance

Chemist with moleculeKnowing the structure of a molecule reveals important information about how it functions and can provide insight into potential drug targets for fighting disease. Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is a method used to image frozen biological molecules, such as proteins, nucleic acids and lipids and their complexes, in their natural state. Cryo-EM has the capability to image many biological molecules that cannot be imaged using other methods like crystallography. Recent advances in cryo-EM methods and technology have greatly extended the level of biological information about important processes that occur within the cells of our body. The increase in visualization capabilities allows us to better understand how problems in molecules lead to disease, and to identify potential new therapeutic targets and design drugs for treating diseases.

This page last reviewed on November 13, 2017