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Into the nanodimension: Revealing biology’s secrets using volume electron microscopy

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Into the nanodimension: Revealing biology’s secrets using volume electron microscopy

Recorded 10 July 2019


Biological specimens are three-dimensional (3D), but most imaging technologies typically produce 2D pictures. Using chemical markers, such as fluorescent probes, combined with optical sectioning and superresolution techniques, scientists can now obtain high-resolution 3D renderings that provide a greater understanding of the structure–function relationship in cells and tissues. Likewise, advances in 3D scanning electron microscopy (SEM) approaches—including array tomography of serial sections, or serial block-face imaging with a focused ion beam (FIB) or an in situ microtome—are now carving a similar niche for nanoscale-resolution 3D imaging of biological specimens. Supported by a host of powerful hardware and software advancements, the versatile SEM instrument can now be used to generate near transmission electron microscopy (TEM)–resolution 3D ultrastructural images of stained, resin-embedded biological samples too large to be easily imaged by conventional EM methods. Improvements in the productivity and automation of EM instrumentation that allow the generation of high-resolution 3D images are producing considerable amounts of data, previously too difficult or time-consuming to collect. This webinar will focus on recent technical developments in 3D EM that enable imaging of a greater variety of biological samples, revealing unexpected and new biology.

During the webinar, the speakers will:

  • Demonstrate how cells and tissue can be visualized in 3D by array tomography, scanning block-face SEM, and FIB-SEM imaging
  • Discuss how researchers are increasing the scope and scale of 3D SEM imaging as well as its integration with other imaging modalities, including TEM and fluorescence microscopy
  • Highlight new ways to connect light, electron, and X-ray microscopy platforms in a targeted, correlative, multiscale approach, emphasizing the use of ambient and cryo-light for electron microscopy workflows
  • Answer viewer questions live during the broadcast.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

Speaker bios

Kedar Narayan, Ph.D.

Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research
Frederick, MD

Dr. Narayan is currently a senior scientist and group leader at the Center for Molecular Microscopy (CMM) at Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Frederick, Maryland. After earning degrees in chemistry (Loyola College) and pathology (Cambridge University), he pursued a Ph.D. in immunology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, focusing on the biophysics of antigen presentation and immune activation. During his postdoctoral work at the National Cancer Institute of the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, he collaborated with academic and industry partners to develop focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) as a tool for subcellular imaging, especially in conjunction with other imaging modalities. At CMM, Dr. Narayan’s group continues to work on FIB-SEM technology development and simultaneously drives collaborative projects that use FIB-SEM, electron tomography, and correlative imaging approaches to explore a variety of cellular processes in health and disease.

Kirk Czymmek, Ph.D.

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Olivette, MO

Dr. Czymmek received his doctorate in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Michigan State University in 1993, followed by a postdoctoral position at the DuPont Company. Subsequently, he held a position at Noran Instruments in the confocal business group as an applications scientist before joining the University of Delaware (UD). At UD, he worked for 15 years to build an imaging capacity that led to the 2001 creation of the UD Bio-Imaging Center at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute. He served as the center’s director and was also an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. In 2012, he joined ZEISS to build an application, demonstration, and training center for the ZEISS microscopy portfolio for North America, leading to his role as vice president of the Global ZEISS Microscopy Customer Centers. In 2019, he joined the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center as a principal investigator and director of the Integrated Microscopy Facility, to leverage advanced microscopy tools in plant science dedicated to producing more nutritious food and improving the environment. With over 30 years of advanced microscopy experience, Dr. Czymmek has expertise in most forms of light, X-ray, and electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, single-molecule imaging, superresolution microscopy, cryotechniques, and correlative microscopy. His work on developing and applying cutting-edge microscopy tools for imaging cells, tissues, and biomaterials has generated over 95 refereed publications.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently, Dr. Sanders is the Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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