Cryo Electron Microscopy Workshop

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Cryo Electron Microscopy Workshop:

“Enabling Portugal to Become a World Player in Biological Research and Health”

April 20th 2018, at INL’s Auditorium

The field of cryo electron microscopy has undergone a dramatic technological leap in the last ten years. In particular, there have been breakthroughs in electron optics, stage design, fabrication, and recording media, making cryo electron microscopy one of the most rapidly growing technical fields in biological research. Three scientists responsible for inspiring most of these developments were recently awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

In this context, we propose to establish a dedicated cryo facility for life sciences research at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) in Braga, Portugal. Such a facility will have a profound impact on the Portuguese life sciences research programs.

TOPICS | Cryo-EM Workshop

  • Enable a quantum leap in advanced life sciences research, particularly in the areas of cell biology, structural biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, chemical engineering and bioengineering.

  • Serve as a research facility of excellence in all aspects of life sciences and bioengineering research for Portuguese and Spanish universities and industries.

  • Reinforce current and enable future institute-level collaborative research activities involving a diverse set of researchers (professors, scientists, postdocs and graduate students) funded by national (FCT), European (European Research Council, Marie Curie, EMBO) and international (HHMI, Bill & Melinda Gates) funding agencies.
  • Foster the creation of start-ups, relocation of companies and visits by companies to the north region of Portugal, by providing the necessary research base with advanced instrumentation and diverse faculty expertise.
  • Enable the education/recruitment/training/mentoring of graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty in the life sciences and bioengineering disciplines.

  • Serve as a platform to attract and retain world-renowned scientists and outstanding brain talent from all regions of the world to Braga/Portugal, to work with Portuguese scientists.

On April 20th, 2018 academia, industry and the political sector will come together at INL to discuss the possibility of creating at INL a facility in cryo electron microscopy.

Cryo-EM Workshop – Program

13:45 – 14:00 Opening remarks Prof. Lars Montelius, Director General of INL
14:00 – 14:30 “High-resolution cryo-EM of macromolecular complexes – a new era in structural biology”   Prof. Werner Kühlbrandt, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Director, Department of Structural Biology, Germany.  Sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific.
14:30 – 14:40 “How can cryo-TEM boost the activity of pharma industry in Portugal”  Cláudia Silva, Head of Research and Innovation, Bluepharma, Indústria Farmacêutica, SA
14:40 – 14:50 “Deciphering novel targets for antibacterial immunotherapies”  Pedro Madureira, Start-Up Company Immunethep
14:50 – 15:00 “Electron Microscopy in Neuropathology”  Ricardo Taipa, Hospital Santo António
15:00 – 15:30 Coffee Break, Sponsored by Izasa
15:30 – 15:40 “Novel nanomedicines for cancer treatment”  Vera Moura, Start-Up Company TreatU
15:40 – 15:50 “Exploring the advantages of using CryoEM in health-related projects”  Luísa Jordão, Instituto Nacional de Saúde Doutor Ricardo Jorge
15:50 – 16:00 “Cryo-electron microscopy beyond the resolution revolution”  Steve Reyntjens, Director Product Marketing Life Sciences, Materials & Structural Analysis, Thermo Fisher Scientific.
16:00 – 16:10 “New JEOL TEM developments for cryo biology”  G. Brunetti, IZASA (JEOL)
16:10 – 16:30 “The Roadmap Towards a National CryoEM Facility @ INL”  Paulo Ferreira (Head of Advanced Electron Microscopy Department at INL) & Erin Tranfield (Head of the Electron Microscopy Facility at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC) | IGC
16:30 – 16:50 General Discussion
17:00 Final Remarks, Prof. Lars Montelius, DG of INL

Institutions Involved

The following non-profit institutions are involved in this proposal:
Laboratório Internacional Ibérico de Nanotecnologia, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Universidade do Porto, Universidade do Minho, Universidade de Coimbra, Universidade de Lisboa, Universidade do Algarve, Universidade da Beira Interior, Instituto Nacional de Saúde Doutor Ricardo Jorge and Centro de Investigação da Fundação Champalimaud.

In addition, the following companies are interested in using the cryo facility at INL:

Celtalga Extract
Consulting y Desarrollo Biotecnológico Ecocelta Galicia
Galician Marine Aquaculture Glecex
Hifas da terra
Centauri Biotech CZVeterinaria & BioFabri
Lonza Biologics Porriño Oncostellae
SunRock Biopharma

Caroi’Line Cosmética
Detection and Radiation Technologies
EuroEspes Biotechnology
Health in Code
Instituto de estudios celulares y moleculares (ICM)
Leading Smart Health Technology
QubioTech Health Intelligence
AllGenetics & Biology
Cetaqua Galicia Developbiosystem GalChimia
Linknovate Science
MD.USE Innovative Solutions SOLMEGLAS

Conexiona Telecom
Syspro Engineering


Workshop sponsorised by:


Prof. Werner Kühlbrandt

Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Director | Department of Structural Biology, Germany

Werner Kühlbrandt studied chemistry and crystallography at the Free University Berlin, and biochemistry and biophysics at King’s College London. He did his PhD with Nigel Unwin at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, investigating the structure of two-dimensional ribosome crystals by electron microscopy. He turned to structural studies of membrane proteins as a postdoc, first at the ETH Zürich, and then at Imperial College London. After a short stay at UC Berkeley, CA, he became a group leader at the EMBL Heidelberg in 1988. Since 1997 he is a director at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt, Germany, where his department of Structural Biology studies the structure and mechanisms of membrane proteins by X-ray and electron crystallography, single-particle cryo-EM, electron tomography and biophysical methods.

Prof. Lars Montelius

Director General at INL

Lars Montelius is the DirectorGeneral of the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory since the 1st September 2014.

Professor in Nanotechnology at Lund University, Sweden, Lars Montelius is the founder of several Swedish companies working with nanotechnology.

Lars Montelius is also the President of the IUVSTA: The International Union for Vacuum Science, Technique and Applications with more than 150 000 members from 32 countries, member of the EC Executive High Level Group (HLG) at DG NMPB, and board member and Working Group Chair of the two European Technology Platforms NANOFutures: The European initiative for sustainable development by Nanotechnologies and EuMat: The European Technology Platform for Advanced Engineering Materials and Technologies:

Between 2003 and 2009, Lars Montelius was Dean of the Physics Department, Science and Engineering Faculties at Lund University and between 2009 and 2011, he was director for Øresund University & Øresund Science Region, a cross-border cooperation between eleven universities and three regional authorities of two countries in the Øresund Region.

Lars Montelius was also Chair of the Swedish Technical Standardization Committee on Nanotechnology from 2007 to 2014.

Prof, Dr, Dr h c Lars Montelius, with H-index 34: 298 publications, 4.091 citations, last 5 years ≈250 citations/year. Data from ISI Web of Knowledge 2016-06-19. More than 70 personally invited talks. 24 patent applications.

Dr. Pedro Madureira

CSO Immunethep, Portugal

Pedro Madureira, in partnership with Venture Catalysts, founded Immunethep SA, a company focused on the development of antibacterial immunotherapies. He graduated in Biochemistry from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto and obtained his PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar in the same university. His scientific work follows a line of investigation started a few decades ago by Prof. Mário Arala Chaves, with the discovery of immunosuppressive molecules secreted by bacterial pathogens, the so called virulence-associated immunomodulatory proteins (VIP).

Dr. Erin Tranfield

Head of the Electron Microscopy Facility | Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC) | IGC (Lisbon)

Erin Tranfield obtained her PhD at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her thesis focused on the ultrastructural changes of atherosclerotic plaques following exposure to fine particulate air pollution. Her first post-doctoral fellowship was at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, USA where she studied the toxicity of lunar dust. Her second post-doctoral fellowship was at The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg Germany where she developed protocols to study the ultrastructure of the meiotic spindle of Xenopus laevis. Erin joined the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in 2013 to first build and then run the Electron Microscopy Facility.

Erin has more than 15 years experience with electron microscopy, particularly high pressure freezing and automatic freeze substitution, electron tomography on 120 keV and 300keV instruments and three-dimensional data acquisition. Within the Electron Microscopy Facility at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Erin works with the technical staff to train users, maintain equipment and to determine the protocols needed to best address the scientific questions of a given project.

Dr. Vera Moura

Co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of TreatU

Vera Dantas Moura completed her degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and has a PhD in Pharmaceutical Technology from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra, Portugal. She collaborated with the Tech Transfer Office from the University of Coimbra and mentored several Entrepreneurship Programs. Member of research projects in the area of Oncology, she is PI in three projects funded by Regional European Funds. Co-author of scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, oral communications/posters presented in international scientific meetings, Vera is also co-author of three patents granted in EU and US and in 2 PCTs pending. Vera was awarded with the Best PhD Thesis Award 2011 from the Portuguese Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences (SPCF) and the Spanish-Portuguese Local Chapter of Controlled Release Society (SPLC-CRS). As co-author of the project Smart Medicines, she received the InovCapital prize for Best Business Idea, in the “Arrisca Coimbra 2009” contest, organized by the University of Coimbra and with the 2nd place in the “Idea to Product (I2P)” contest, an early-stage technology commercialization plan competition organized by COTEC (Porto, 2010). Vera Moura is co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of TREAT U. The company was distinguished by Maksen as a top 5 company for innovation and economic impact and is dedicated to the research and development of nanotechnology-based platforms for the specific (targeted) delivery of agents with pharmacological interest for human health.

Dr. Cláudia Silva

Head of Research and Innovation, Bluepharma, Indústria Farmacêutica, SA

Cláudia Silva has a Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences (2003) and a PhD in Pharmacy (Pharmaceutical Technology) by the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra since 2008.

In 2008, she joined the R&D group at Bluepharma, Indústria Farmacêutica, SA and since 2009 she worked as the Head of the Research Department. During this time she gained experience in the areas of drug development, pharmaceutical technology, drug delivery, clinical development, project planning, project management of collaborative R&D projects, knowledge management and RDI management. She is co-author of 16 peer-reviewed papers in international journals and co-inventor of a patent.

Currently she is the Head of Research and Innovation of Bluepharma and the COO/deputy CEO of Luzitin.

Dr. Luísa Jordao

Invited assistant researcher at National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge (INSA) in Lisbon, responsible for the Electron Microscopy facility.

Luisa Jordao is currently an invited assistant researcher at National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge (INSA) in Lisbon being responsible for the Electron Microscopy facility. She has PhD in Pharmacy (Biology and Molecular Genetics) awarded by the University of Lisbon. The work of her PhD thesis resulted from a collaboration with the EMBL (HD, Germany) where she developed skills in advanced microscopy techniques applied to host pathogen interaction. In 2009, she joined the INSA as a researcher of the Ciencia 2008 program after a 1 year of post-doctoral experience at the University of Lisbon and Jozef Stefan Institute (Slovenia).
She develops research in health sciences namely on host-pathogen interaction and microbial biofilms. In parallel, she collaborates with several groups working in different areas (nanoparticles, material sciences, etc) for electron microscopy. She authors more than 20 papers in her scientific field and is reviewer of several journals.

Dr. Steve Reyntjens

Director Product Marketing Life Sciences, Materials & Structural Analysis, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Steve Reyntjens obtained his PhD in Electrical Engineering at Leuven University in Leuven, Belgium. He thereafter joined Thermo Fisher Scientific as an application specialist, supporting customers on a wide range of electron microscopy applications.

With more than 20 years’ experience in electron microscopy, Steve is currently leading the product marketing team responsible for cryo-electron microscopy products for life sciences, concentrating primarily on the Single Particle Analysis (SPA) workflow.

Dr. Ricardo Taipa

Neuropathologist at the Neuropathology Unit, Consultant Neurologist dedicated to the Dementia Clinic, Department of Neurology | Hospital Santo António.

Director of Portuguese Brain Bank for neurological disorders.

Ricardo Taipa, born inthe 3rd of January of 1979, is Neuropathologist at the Neuropathology Unit, Hospital Santo António – Centro Hospitalar do Porto and Consultant Neurologist dedicated to the Dementia Clinic, Department of Neurology, at the same hospital. He is also one of the Directors of the recently created Portuguese Brain Bank for neurological disorders. Since 2011, he has served as a lecturer of Neuroanatomy at ICBAS, University of Porto. He completed his PhD in University of Minho in 2018.

Dr. Guillaume Brunetti

TEM and FIB application specialist at JEOL (Europe) SAS since 2012

Dr Guillaume Brunetti is TEM and FIB application specialist at JEOL (Europe) SAS since 2012.  This work allows him to extend his skills for TEM in the field of material and bio sciences.

Guillaume completed his Ph.D at the University of Metz (France) in 2009. His research interests lie in the area of the development of new TEM methods for the determination of strains in materials thanks to Convergent Beam Electron Diffraction (CBED) technique.

After his Ph.D., Guillaume joined the Nuclear Research Center in Grenoble to work on the use and development of precession system and its applications in semi-conductor and battery reseach.

Since 1949, JEOL’s legacy has been one of the most remarkable innovations in the development of instruments used to advance scientific research and technology. JEOL has 60 years of expertise in the field of electron.

The CRYO ARM™ 200 and CRYO ARM™ 300, equipped with a new generation cold field emission gun, an in-column Omega energy filter, a side-entry liquid nitrogen cooling stage and an automated specimen exchange system, are cryo-electron microscopes (cryo-EM) that enable observation of bio-molecules at cryo-temperature. The NEW automated specimen exchange system features the storing of up to 12 samples. In addition, the system allows for the exchange of an arbitrary one or more sample, thus enabling flexible scheduling. Furthermore, the combined use of a newly-designed in-column Omega energy filter and a Hole-free phase plate dramatically enhances the contrast of TEM images of biological specimens.

JEOL (EUROPE) SAS – Espace Claude Monet – 1 Allée de Giverny – 78209 Croissy-sur-Seine (France)

Tel: +33130153737  |

Prof. Paulo Ferreira

Head of Department of Advanced Electron Microscopy, Imaging and Spectroscopy. International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Braga, Portugal

Professor, IST, University of Lisbon, Portugal

Professor, The University of Texas at Austin, USA

Paulo Ferreira is currently the Head of Department of Advanced Electron Microscopy, Imaging and Spectroscopy at INL. He is also Robert & Jane Mitchell Endowed Faculty Fellowship in Engineering and Full Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, USA.

He has a Ph.D in Materials Science and Engineering (MS&E) from the University of Illinois, USA and has done his Post-doctoral work at MIT in MS&E. He concentrates his research in the areas of Nanomaterials, Nanotechnology and Electron Microscopy, in particular on understanding the relationships between the atomic/nano structure and the properties of nanomaterials, through in-situ and high resolution transmission electron microscopy. The focus of the research is in metallic nanoparticles, Li-ion battery materials, nanocatalysts for fuel cells and photocatalytic conversion, nanocrystalline metals, nanointerconnects and carbon nanostructures. He is co-author of the book “Nanotechnology for Architects, Designers and Engineers” and the author of more than 150 scientific articles published in international journals and conference proceedings. Prof. Ferreira is part of the Editorial Board of Review of “Metallurgical and Materials Transactions” and acted as a special advisor to the Minister of Economics and Innovation, Portugal, on Government Strategy for Science & Technology.


Prof. Paulo Ferreira

Head of Department of Advanced Electron Microscopy, Imaging and Spectroscopy. International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Braga, Portugal

Professor, IST, University of Lisbon, Portugal

Professor, The University of Texas at Austin, USA

Dr. Pedro Matias

Head, Industry and Medicine Applied Crystallography Lab., ITQB NOVA, Oeiras, Portugal

Dr. Erin Tranfield

Head, Electron Microscopy Facility, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras, Portugal

Prof. Manuela Côrte-Real

President of the School of Sciences, University of Minho, Portugal

Prof. Lorenzo Pastrana

Head of Department of Life Science at INL, Portugal

Dr. João Morais Cabral

Principal investigator at IBMC and group leader at i3S, University of Porto, Portugal


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