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Cryo-EM Training

V-CEM Facility & Equipment Training

All users must be trained by V-CEM staff or be certified microscopists. To schedule training or become a certified user, contact the V-CEM staff.  All training takes place at the pace dictated by the user and skill level.  Length of training times below may vary.


Morgagni Training

Morgagni training consists of one session of ~2 – 3 hours. One may combine the Morgagni training with negative sample prep and grid prep training. The negative stain sample prep is ~1 hour long and the grid prep training takes 3 sessions on different days that are ~ 30 min or less each. The Morgagni training is mandatory to gain Morgagni access.


TF20 Training

TF20 training consists of three sessions of 1/2 day to 1 full day. During the first session, the user will meet with V-CEM staff to go over, step by step, the proper alignment, basic SerialEM usage, and shut down.  Users will be provided with a copy of all protocols.   During the second session, the user will follow protocols with V-CEM staff present. During the third session, the user will operate the microscope the from start to finish unassisted. V-CEM staff will be available in the facility for questions and troubleshooting. The TF20 training is mandatory to gain F20 access and before moving on to cryo training.

Vitrobot Training

Vitrobot training occurs at the time the user has samples to prepare.  This session will take ~ 2 hours and can be completed independent of microscope training status.  While the facility provides tweezers for the Vitrobot, we recommend each lab have their own.  The Vitrobot training is mandatory to gain access to the Vitrobot.

TF20 Cryo Training

Separate training sessions on the TF20 are required to work with the cryo-transfer holders.  User will bring vitrified grids to this session and can expect to look at 1-2 grids during the sessions.  The initial session will be learning how to properly prepare the cryo-transfer holder, cool the holder and transfer a vitrified grid.  Basic microscope operation is the same for a negatively-stained sample and a cryo sample.  The second session will be a repeat of the first, possibly with the ability to look at more grids or new techniques.  Sessions will continue in the way until the user and staff member are both comfortable with how the user handles the cryo-transfer holders. The firs time a user works independently, a staff member will be available in the facility for questions and troubleshooting.  The cryo training is mandatory to use the cryo-transfer holders on the TF20.

Polara Training

Due to the sensitivity of mounting and changing the Polara samples, this step will be performed only by the V-CEM staff. User training includes LN2 filling, aligning the microscope and data collection.  The Polara training is mandatory to gain Polara access and should be completed only after the F20 training.


SerialEM Training

SerialEM training consists of 1 – 2 sessions. The SerialEM training is advised but not mandatory to operate either the TF20 or the Polara.