Harwell Strengthens UK’s life science capabilities with world’s largest Cryo-EM facility

A new facility for the pharmaceutical industry and Life Sciences research communities has been opened by the Diamond Light Source at Harwell Campus. The Electron Bio-Imaging Centre (eBIC), is the first high-end cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) facility worldwide to be embedded in a synchrotron. The collaboration between Diamond Light Source and Thermo Fisher, will firmly place the UK as a global leader in providing large-scale industrial access to cryo-EM for drug discovery and structural biology.

Prof. Dave Stuart, Life Sciences Director at Diamond said, “The new centre offers the opportunity for almost real-time physiology, capturing proteins in action at cryo-temperatures by flash-freezing them at various stages. What Diamond has created with eBIC is an integrated facility for structural biology, which will accelerate R&D for both industry and academic users.”

The eBIC was opened by Nobel Prize Winner Dr Richard Henderson from the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge. Dr Henderson, one of the recipients of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for developing the cryo-EM technique, said, “Using single particle cryo-EM, researchers can now visualise biomolecules at near atomic resolution. This technology has taken biochemistry into a new era, allowing atomic structure determinations of many protein and other macromolecular building blocks that were previously very difficult or impossible to obtain.”

The infrastructure on offer at eBIC taps into the expertise of Diamond as a 24-hours, six days a week research facility. The e-BIC is the latest significant development in the rapidly growing Harwell Campus HealthTec Cluster which comprises 40+ public, academic and commercial organisations working within the Life Sciences sector.

For more information on the eBIC contact:

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