551-1412-00L  Molecular and Structural Biology IV: Visualizing Macromolecules by X-ray Crystallography and EM

SemesterSpring Semester 2018
LecturersN. Ban, D. Böhringer, T. Ishikawa, M. A. Leibundgut, K. Locher, M. Pilhofer, K. Wüthrich
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractThis course provides an in-depth discussion of two main methods to determine the 3D structures of macromolecules and complexes at high resolution: X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. Both techniques result in electron density maps that are interpreted by atomic models.
ObjectiveStudents will obtain the theoretical background to understand structure determination techniques employed in X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy, including diffraction theory, crystal growth and analysis, reciprocal space calculations, interpretation of electron density, structure building and refinement as well as validation. The course will also provide an introduction into the use of cryo-electron tomography to visualize complex cellular substructures at sub-nanometer resolutions, effectively bridging the resolution gap between optical microscopy and single particle cryo-electron microscopy. Lectures will be complemented with practical sessions where students will have a chance to gain hands on experience with sample preparation, data processing and structure building and refinement.