- This cutting-edge facility will house two high-end electron microscopes: one to determine the structure of large protein complexes and another to study materials at atomic level.
- Created thanks to the joint effort of several research institutes, the centre is located at the ALBA Synchrotron and will be open to the entire scientific community.
- Catalan Research and Universities Minister Joaquim Nadal inaugurated the centre, which has received funding from the Catalan Government’s ERDF programme, on 24 February.
The Joint Electron Microscopy Center at ALBA (JEMCA) was created thanks to the collaboration of different research entities to launch a new centre within the ALBA Synchrotron building offering electron microscope services to the scientific community. In specific, eight different partners will be using this centre: the Institute for Molecular Biology of Barcelona (IBMB-CSIC), the Catalan Institute for Nanoscienc and Nanotechnology (ICN2), the Institute for Biomedical Research (IRB Barcelona), the Centre for Genome Regulation (CRG), the Institute for Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), and the ALBA Synchrotron. The project definition phase also included the fundamental support of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).
This is the only facility in all of Spain that allows working with tools that are complementary to the synchrotron light source with the aim of gathering more information in the field of structural biology and materials science.
The centre currently houses two microscopes: the Cryo-TEM, coordinated by the Institute for Molecular Biology of Barcelona (IBMB-CSIC), and the METCAM, coordinated by the Catalan Institute for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2).
The Cryo-TEM microscope is key to being able to solve rapidly and with high resolution the protein structures that cannot be analysed with other techniques. This microscope is already being put to use in experiments with an elevated social return. For example, IBMB-CSIC researchers Núria Verdaguer and Pablo Guerra, in collaboration with IRB Barcelona researchers Manuel Palacín and David Aparicio and the spin-off Ona Therapeutics, are analysing a protein involved in metastatic lung cancer as well as the protein’s complex with an antibody of interest for a therapy that targets metastases. The Cryo-TEM is the second microscope of its kind in Spain and represents a great advance for the user community in this field.
Read more on the ALBA website