SciLifeLab Cryo-EM training project travels to South Korea

Published: 2019-11-04


Within the frame of joint development of bilateral projects between Sweden and South Korea, SciLifeLab scientists from the labs of Alexey Amunts and Erik Lindahl, as well as the cryo-EM facility, trained over 200 students and postdocs in four Universities in South Korea. 

The training workshops included 40 hours of lectures and practical work in Seoul National University, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daegu Institute for Plant Ageing and Pohang University of Science and Technology.

The project, developed and delivered as a cooperation between SciLifeLab, Stockholm University and Korean Cryo-EM Association, aimed to expand the expertise and practical problem-solving skills of researchers, through a programme of lectures and activity based sessions. It has provided an insight into all aspects of the technique from sample preparation to atomic model refinement and presentation of the data for publication.

13 Scientists from SciLifeLab participated during the workshops, delivering lectures, practicals and providing guidance for specific problem-solving. With the support of SciLifeLab scientists, Korean colleagues have improved their practical skills and approach how to design and conduct cryo-EM experiments.

“We truly appreciate the invaluable time of researchers from SciLifeLab and Stockholm University spent to help the cryo-EM community in South Korea. It will be essential for successful launching of the cryo-EM research here, and we hope it is the beginning of a long-term collaboration between our institutes,” said Soung-Hun Roh and Jie-Oh Lee, who are responsible for setting up cryo-EM in Seoul National University and Pohang University of Science and Technology.

In addition to the series of workshops, a few researchers and visiting professors from abroad have been hosted in recent years at SciLifeLab for periods of three month for data collection and project-based learning. Some of those projects have already resulted in collaborative publications from the data obtained and analyzed at SciLifeLab (see ‘further references’ below).

The training hub has also developed in close collaboration with partners from the healthcare industry. It provides opportunities for guest scientists to develop a greater understanding of practical skills at SciLifeLab and apply it to their research upon return to the home laboratory, while benefiting from the network.

One of the visiting postdocs and a senior researcher came from the lab of the Nobel Laureate Ada Yonath from the Weizmann Institute.

“I was greatly impressed by the members of Amunts’ lab commitment to guide my researchers through the difficulties and teach them to overcome technical barriers. I am very happy that we had a chance to take advantage of this unique opportunity to collaborate with SciLifeLab and Stockholm University. The high quality of the training, while maintaining a fantastic atmosphere in the lab, provided our researchers with outstanding experience,” said Ada Yonath.

 

Further references:

Cryo-EM symposium in Seoul
Cryo-EM workshop in Daejun

Collaborative publications:

Paper with AstraZeneca in Science Advances
Paper with Ada Yonath in Nature Communication
Paper with Kayarat Sai in Nature Communication