About
the Center

The Cryo-Electron Microscopy (Cryo-EM) Center enables St. Jude researchers to visualize intricate biological structures, such as large macromolecular complexes, at atomic or near-atomic resolution, allowing examination of biological macromolecules with unprecedented detail and clarity. 

The Cryo-Electron Microscopy (Cryo-EM) Center

The Cryo-EM Center is staffed by expert scientists who provide extensive support and training to investigators at all levels and over the complete workflow used for single-particle cryo-EM, from sample preparation to data collection, image processing, 3D reconstruction and modeling.   

The Cryo-EM Center features a 300keV Titan Krios electron microscope and a 200keV Talos Arctica electron microscope, each equipped with a K3 direct electron detector and a BioQuantum energy filter. The Krios is further equipped with a Volta phase plate, providing the contrast improvement required for imaging of smaller proteins. The cutting-edge technology incorporated into these instruments permits high quality image and observation of very fine details. 

In addition, the Center hosts advanced equipment for sample preparation, screening and optimization: ThermoFisher Talos L120C TEM, ThermoFisher Vitrobot Mark IV System, Leica EM GP2 automatic plunge freezer, Gatan Solarus II plasma cleaner, PELCO easiGlow Glow Discharge Cleaning System, and TED PELLA carbon coater 208C. The Center is supported by state-of-the-art computational resources including a dedicated GPU cluster and a DDN file storage, and has ready access to the high-performance computing facilities at the St. Jude Data Center. 

Access: Information about the Cryo-EM Center’s instrumentations, services, and policies can be found on its intranet pages, along with detailed protocols for sample preparation, equipment operation, and data collection and processing. Potential users, from inside or outside the Department of Structural Biology, should consult the Director and meet with staff members to discuss specific projects.

About the Director

Israel Fernandez obtained his Ph.D. at the CIB-CSIC, Madrid. Initially trained in X-ray crystallography, he has over a decade of experience in cryo-electron microscopy, including as postdoctoral fellow and staff scientist with Dr. Venki Ramakrishnam at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge (UK) and as an Assistant Professor and PI at Columbia University. Dr. Fernandez has expertise in the analyses of highly heterogeneous samples by cryo-EM and broad biology interests, having worked on systems from ribosomes to CRISPR/Cas, chromatin factors and glycobiology. He joined St. Jude as Director of the Cryo-EM Center in 2021.

Cryo-Electron Microscopy Center staff

  • Israel Fernandez, PhD - Director
  • Syed Asfarul Haque - Senior Scientist
  • Martin Turk, PhD - Senior Scientist 
  • Sagar Chittori, PhD - Senior Scientist

Contact us

Cryo-EM

Structural Biology MS311

St. Jude Children Research Hospital

262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN, 38105-3678 USA

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262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN, 38105-3678 USA
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