Greetings to you all! We hope you are staying safe and healthy during these challenging times. Here's an update about how the Cryo-EM Center and the MEMS have been running during the shutdown.
Richard and Sarah have been rotating weeks on-site to clip and load samples and keep the microscopes cooled and aligned in the Cryo-EM Center. The on-site person has also been responsible for maintaining the disinfection routine we put in place on March 18th. Think about how many knobs, mice, keyboards, etc. you have to touch when you use a microscope... now think about disinfecting all those surfaces, including the chair, the door handles, the pens, the LN2 dewar. It does take some time! We've asked our fellow essential workers to do their part in disinfecting as well.
We now have five groups working on COVID-19 related research between both facilities and in between their microscope usage, Richard and Sarah have assisted others who dropped off grids to the Cryo-EM Center prior to the shutdown, to help maintain the microscopes. Scheduling has been fluid and we have been prioritizing the COVID-19 related work, so we have a backlog of others waiting to get on the Talos and Krios microscopes. Unfortunately, Krios1's camera is out for repair, so we only have one Krios right now. The Talos went down briefly, but the great service engineers at ThermoFisher Scientific got it working again the following day.
Zongli held our first "Chat with the Cryo-EM Staff" last week and we had about twenty participants. If you have ideas or questions you'd like to discuss or if you just want to ask questions, please email Zongli.
The BIG question: When are we going to open again? We are working under the mandates of the campus shutdown and there is no re-open date set. We are only starting to think about a phased re-opening, but there is no process yet. When we have a date and a plan, we will email all the users and PIs so everyone is notified. We will also post it on the website.
For those of you wondering what campus looks like, here's a couple shots of the center to hold you over until we can work together again! Stay safe in the meantime!