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Service Centers and Training

The NIH Common Fund launched an initiative to increase biomedical scientists’ access to cryoelectron microscopy through the Transformative High-Resolution Cryoelectron Microscopy program (CryoEM). The program established three National Centers for Cryoelectron Microscopy and, recently, the National Network for Cryoelectron Tomography, which consists of four service centers. The awarded cryoEM and cryoET service centers listed below aim to provide access to specimen preparation and/or data collection services, as well as training programs. The CryoEM program also funded Curriculum Development Projects to provide additional instructional material to biomedical researchers in the application of cryoEM/ET techniques, theory, and analysis.

For more information about the CryoEM program and resources, please explore the menus below, view the program's promotional flyer, or visit the joint website hosted by the program's PIs.

The CryoEM Program Resources

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National Centers for Cryoelectron Microscopy

National Center for CryoEM Access & Training (NCCAT)

This advanced service center is located at Simons Electron Microscopy Center at the New York Structural Biology Center in New York City. The mission of NCCAT is to provide nationwide access to leading cryoEM technologies and aid users in developing the cryoEM skills and expertise required for independent research.

Proposals and Training

User access proposals are currently being accepted. Training applications can also be submitted for NCCAT’s two available training programs. Embedded Training is a 3-month intensive immersion experience at NCCAT, focused on supporting scientists to gain the skills to become an independent cryoEM researcher. Facility Manager Training is open to individuals responsible for managing, leading or training other researchers at their own facilities. Additional classes, workshops, short courses, and remote learning options are also offered.

Stanford-SLAC Cryo-EM Center (S2C2)

Located at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator laboratory, this cryoelectron microscopy center provides access to cryoEM instruments for data collection and prepares our nation’s scientists to become independent cryoEM investigators. The center also offers cryo-specimen preparation devices, data quality assessment tools, and image data storage capacity (short-term basis).

Proposals and Training

This service center is currently accepting user access proposals for in-person and remote data collectionApplications for In-Residence training are open to PIs, staff, postdocs, or students. Workshops and other short-form training are also offered. The applications will be considered on a competitive basis for available positions.

The Pacific Northwest Center for Cryo-EM (PNCC)

This state-of-art electron microscopy user facility is operated jointly by Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The mission of the center is to support researchers from diverse workforce backgrounds to tackle challenging scientific problems and train the next generation of cryoEM users.

Proposals and Training

The center accepts proposals for limited access and general accessTraining is offered in three stages: preparatory online traininghands-on lab training, and ongoing skill development. Information about training modulesworkshops, and internship opportunities can be found on their website.

National Network for Cryoelectron Tomography

More information and applications for user access can be found on the network's portal.

The Midwest Center for Cryo-Electron Tomography (MCCET)

Located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, MCCET provides access and training in all aspects of the CryoET pipeline and is responsible for the coordination of the National Network for CryoET activities between the NIH, network centers, and users.

CU Boulder Center for Cryo-ET (CCET)

Located at the University of Colorado, CCET will focus on cryo-specimen preparation and cryoelectron tomography (cryoET) applied to cells, organelles and large supramolecular assemblies.

The National Center for In-situ Tomographic Ultramicroscopy (NCITU)

Located at the New York Structural Biology Center, NCITU will be dedicated to developing and providing access to both standard and advanced methods for in-situ cryoET specimen preparation and to disseminating this expertise through a cryoET cross-training program designed to serve a wide variety of skill levels and career goals.

Stanford-SLAC CryoET Specimen Preparation Center (SCSC)

Located at Stanford University, SCSC will enable external users to streamline the preparation of samples through providing access to, and support for, advanced cryo-specimen preparation techniques (cryoFLM, cryoFIB, and cryoEM/ET) for a wide range of samples with biomedical applications. The Center will offer a comprehensive program to train and cross-train scientists, regardless of their institutional affiliations, to become independent cryoET investigators.

Curriculum Development

Getting Started in Cryo-EM Video Lectures

This comprehensive online cryoEM curriculum covers theory and practice of major cryoEM modalities. The curriculum targets naïve and expert users, including PIs teaching cryoEM in courses. The course will provide additional resources including exam questions, review slides, and more.

CryoEM 101

This is an online, media-rich curriculum to supplement users’ own hands-on cryoEM training. The material contains videos, animation, and interactive simulations, covering the major components of cryoEM workflow, from sample purification to image processing.

Virtual Reality Augmented Hands-On Cryo-EM Training

CryoVR provides self-paced training tools to familiarize new users with cryoEM equipment, all through a free, safe, easily accessible, virtual environment. Interested users can overcome constraining barriers, such as staff time, high cost, and limited access. A PC standalone version, CryoVR Lite, is in development.


CryoEDU is an online platform offering self-paced training in cryoEM/ET data interpretation and analysis. A cloud-based desktop environment provides a simulated "hands-on" data processing experience using pre-calculated results to process a dataset from start to finish. Users will learn approaches for independently processing a variety of cryoEM/ET datasets.

Principles of Cryo-EM Structure Determination

This online curriculum is developing videos, software, and an e-book to provide the foundations for understanding cryoEM image processing and reconstruction, including principles of single-particle reconstruction and electron cryotomography.

This page last reviewed on March 19, 2024