Coronavirus Update

Harvard Medical School has released information about the re-entry process and Phase I of the re-opening will begin on Monday, June 8th. Re-opening strategies for the Molecular EM Suite and Harvard Cryo-EM Center have been reviewed and approved, but are subject to change as more guidelines are released.  We will keep our strategies for facility re-opening updated on the website and will send an email to our user list if major modifications are made. 

On June 17, 2020, both facilities moved to Phase II. 

During Phase II:

  • All projects can resume use of the MEMS and all equipment will be available on a limited basis.  
  • The Harvard Cryo-EM Center is open to all projects, but will continue to prioritize COVID-19 related work on the microscopes.  Non-COVID-19 grids may be dropped off, shipped, or prepared in the Sample prep room.  Please email Sarah and Richard before dropping off or shipping samples.  
  • All projects may use the Vitrobots in the Harvard Cryo-EM Center. 
  • All new projects (COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 work) in the Harvard Cryo-EM Center should submit a project proposal to be reviewed per our normal process, but with a COVID-19-specific review committee (for more details see our COVID-19 page).
  • External users (e.g. BCH, MGH, DFCI) may access campus as described on our COVID-19 page

Our COVID-19 page provides the latest information about the facilities.  Please check the BCMPHarvard Medical School, and Harvard University websites for more details about the re-opening status.

The Harvard Cryo-Electron Microscopy Center for Structural Biology is a joint effort by Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital to provide state-of-the-art cryo-EM instrumentation and expertise for the Harvard structural biology community. This user facility offers consultation and training by staff in specimen preparation, microscope operation, image acquisition, and data analysis. Currently, two MarkIV Vitrobots for sample preparation are available for use and we are accepting new users for the Talos Arctica and Titan Krios microscopes. The facility houses two Titan Krios election microscopes and a Talos Arctica electron microscope, all equipped with Gatan K3 Summit direct electron detectors.

Additionally, the Molecular Electron Microscopy Suite at Harvard Medical School is a separate user resource currently available to qualified researchers affiliated with Quad-based labs at HMS. This separate resource offers training and supervision in negative-stain and cryo-transmission electron microscopy. Equipment includes four transmission electron microscopes, two cryo plungers, and sample preparation areas. The Tecnai F20 and Polara F30 TEMs are each equipped with Gatan K2 Summit direct electron detectors.

If you have questions about access, services, or training, please email us at

Recent News


A Better Look: The development of cryo-EM has revolutionized structural biology

September 12, 2018
"Throughout history, observations of structure, from Hooke’s cells to the beaks of Darwin’s finches, have provided insights necessary to understand how life works. This is particularly true in structural biology, a discipline focused on visualizing life at its most fundamental. Discoveries of the atomic structures of important proteins and biological molecules have been among the most celebrated in science and have generated more than a dozen Nobel Prizes, new fields of research, and multibillion-dollar companies."

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