Cryo-EM sample preparation and data collection

National course. The purpose of the course is to prepare and train our users in sample preparation methods, introduce users to the image data acquisition workflow, expand knowledge about cryo-EM methods among Swedish researchers and finally show that everyone can learn how to use cryo-EM.

The course is open for facility users or potential facility users, such as PhD students, postdocs, senior researchers and other employees within the life sciences at any Swedish university who are curious about structure biology and will profit from cryo-EM skills. To attend, the course participants must have experience in basic electron microscopy and be familiar with structure or cell biology.

This course is supported by SciLifeLab and run by the SciLifeLab Cryo-EM facility, both UmU and SU nodes together.

Apply here

Important dates

Application open: February 19, 2018

Application deadline: April 15, 2018

Confirmation to accepted participants: April 23, 2018

Responsible teacher/s

Linda Sandblad and Marta Carroni

Contact information for questions regarding the registration: and

Teachers and course instructors

  • Camilla Holmlund
  • Jose Miguel de la Rosa Trevin
  • Lars-Anders Carlson
  • Linda Sandblad
  • Marta Carroni
  • Michael Hall
  • Sarah Butcher

Social program

The course contains a voluntary social program for networking. It includes coffee, lunches and course dinner with the experts involved in the course. A course fee of 800 SEK will be invoiced to accepted participants after completion of the course. NOTE – Uppsala University cannot invoice individuals.

Course content

This course will cover practical aspects of cryo-EM sample preparation and data acquisition.

Topics covered will include:

  • Basic theory of vitreous water, how to handle a cryo sample and pitfalls
  • Plunge freezing methods, tools and cryo-transfer
  • Sample and instrument requirements for single particle methods and tomography
  • Image data acquisition, concept of low dose and the cryo-specific workflow.
  • Introduction to automatic data acqui­sition software, EPU, Tomography and SerialEM
  • Introduction to cryo-EM image processing methods

The course consists of lectures, cryo lab work, demonstrations and practical exercises for all participants, hands-on experiences of microscopy operation and discussions.

Course literature

Handouts and material online.

Entry requirements

Priority will be given to researchers involved in project where the use of cryo-EM are needed, which are to be briefly described upon application.

The course will be held at an advanced level, assuming that participants have a master degree or equivalent in a technical life science discipline. It aims to be relevant for a broad research community, and not just PhD students or researchers who already work with the techniques presented.

A maximum of 15 participants will be admitted. Selection criteria include correct entry requirements, motivation to attend the course as well as gender and geographical balance.


Participation in all parts of the course, lectures, lab, microscopy demonstrations and evaluation is mandatory