European scoop: opening research center cryo-electron microscope

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Cryo-electron microscope pushes the boundaries of medicine development

Friday, September 14, 2018 — We kindly invite you as members of the press to a preview of the official inauguration of the cryo-electron microscope of the VIB-VUB Biological Electron Cryogenic Microscopy center (BCEM). You will receive an exclusive presentation of a microscope that is unique to Europe, and that help to map the building blocks of the human body with atomic precision.

On Wednesday, September 19 at 11:00 the new research lab that houses the cryo-electron microscope will open to the press. It is located in the former student residences on campus Etterbeek. The exact location can be found on the attached map.

With the construction of the microscope, the Biological Electron Cryogenic Microscopy center continues to extend its leading position in structure-function research worldwide. Through its unique character, the cryo-electron microscope will be operational 24-7.

You will be among the first to see the microscope in action under the careful guidance of Jan Steyaert, Han Remaut and Rouslan Efremov.

The official inauguration will also take place on Wednesday, September 19 at 16:00 in the presence of 300 guests, including Minister Muyters, charged with Innovation, and Professor Richard Henderson (MRC, Cambridge UK), winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work ‘developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution’.

Please rsvp to this exclusive press moment and/or official inauguration before September 18th via email to Sicco.wittermans [at] vub (p) be

More about the Biological Electron Cryogenic Microscopy center

The Biological Electron Cryogenic Microscopy center (BCEM) is a part of the VIB-VUB center for Structural Biology, which is renowned the world over for its research into the structure and function of proteins. Living beings from humans down to bacteria are composed of thousand of different proteins that each are responsible for a different function in the cells. These proteins allow proper functioning of the cells and are the target of medication in case of diseases. The new microscope will allow the Brussels’ center to study these proteins and their mutual interactions with unprecedented precision. The device is so unique that other universities and biotech companies are lining up to perform measurements there as well.

Thanks to the unique microscope the odds of successful pharmaceutical discoveries rises atmospherically and the development time of new medications becomes significantly shorter.

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