"Now is really the perfect time in history for the university here in Tainan to jump into the field of cryo-EM (cryo-electron microscopy)," said Dr. Robert M. Glaeser, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology, UC Berkeley, USA, at a symposium held at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), Tainan, Taiwan, March 4th.
Dr. Glaeser gave a talk on "New Phase Contrast Optics" and said, "The technology has been improved in recent years so that much of structural biology will be done by cryo-EM."
The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) member Dr. Wolfgang P. Baumeister, Professor in Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Germany, also talked about the uses of electron cryomicroscopy in the first talk of the morning session.
"Taiwan scientists are not behind the time; they can plug in and make great contribution," according to Dr. Glaeser who said that now is the perfect time that the symposium is being held.
The 2nd International Institute of Macromolecular Analysis and Nanomedicine Innovation Symposium and Hands-on Workshop is currently taking place at NCKU, to explore the macromolecular research with approximately 100 scholars from more than 10 countries including Germany, Switzerland, Australia, America, Singapore, and Japan.
NCKU set up the Institute for Macromolecular Analysis and Nanomedicine Innovation ( I-MANI) last April to serve as a cryo-EM training center, noted Dr. Chun-Yen Chang, the Dean of NCKU College of Medicine, at the opening ceremony of the 4-day symposium.
He also said, "The I-MANI serves as the hub for multi-discipline approach toward the technology advancement and translational applications of macromolecular imaging and structure biology research especially in the prevention, diagnosis and therapy of the infectious disease."
"We anticipate that the I-MANI will play a crucial role in fostering new approaches in life science discovery, new drug development, nanomedicine innovations, and infectious disease research," according to Dr. Dar-Bin Shih, Chairman of I-MANI.
Dr. Shih noted that one of the highlights of this year's symposium is the workshop on March 5 and the hands-on workshop on March 6 in which the participants have the opportunity to operate the facility and get hands-on experience.
National Cheng Kung University