The 8M€ investment will increase the already important role of Spain within Instruct-ERIC (European Research Infrastructure for Structural Biology), as highlighted by Novel Prize winner Prof. Joachim Frank and Instruct-ERIC, Prof. David Stuart at a recent meetingin Madrid.
In this context a conference was organised at CNB the 25thof September with the participation of Nobel Prize winner Richard Henderson introducing this powerful technique which allows to directly visualise very complex processes, such as the entry of a virus into a cell, key understanding to accelerate the assessment of possible drug targets.
The Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities and the Council for Scientific Research(CSIC), has confirmed a 8 millions Euros investment for the purchase and installation of a Cryo electron microscope at the National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB, Instruct-ERIC-Spain)located at the campus of theUniversidad Autónoma de Madrid.
This investment confirms the commitment to support research in structural biology in Spain an area of strong expertise by CNB and other Spanish groups with high level international collaborations. The leadership of CNB in the area of EM image processing was shown when selected by Instruct as the specialised centre for the technology offering access to European scientists as the Instruct Centre for Image processing (I2PC) since 2013.
Three CSIC groups led by José López Carrascosa, José María Carazo y José María Valpuesta in close coordination with the Spanish CryoEM community have worked to make this important advance a reality. The new research infrastructure will serve not only to elevate the quality of the scientific output but also allow collaboration with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Examples of problems of clear biomedical interest and societal impact already underway at CNB include structural analysis of several viruses and fibres involved in neurodegenerative processes such as Alzheimer disease. In addition, the new infrastructure opens the door to study, through collaborations with industry, potential inhibitors of carcinogenic processes.
You can read the press release from The Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities here