Instruct virtual course on Electron Tomography by CryoEM. Madrid, December 13 – 16, 2021


Remote course
December 13 – 16, 2021 from 09.30-17.30 CET

Overall aims course outline

Cryo-electron Tomography is a rapidly growing technique that can visualize cell organelles and biological macromolecules in their cellular context. Image processing algorithms allow the identification of the macromolecules of interest in the electron tomograms. Then, by extracting small subtomograms around those locations and identifying those similar particles, we may average them and recognize their different conformations. This latter process is called subtomogram averaging and has allowed solving a growing number of macromolecules with a resolution between 20-5A.

The course aims at providing a comprehensive overview of the whole image processing pipeline in Electron Tomography (ET) from the movie alignment of the tilt series, 3D reconstruction of the tomogram, particle identification, and subtomogram averaging. The I2PC has a long tradition of organizing courses of image processing, with Instruct courses that have been heavily oversubscribed and had to be repeated twice in the same year to attend its demand. The length of the course is three days and a half.

Preventing possible traveling restrictions and seeing the previous virtual course’s successes, the whole course will be given online. An additional benefit of this circumstance is that the course can be recorded and stay as a permanent course in Instruct. Although the course is online, we will keep a close interaction with attendees. For this reason, we will limit the maximum number of attendees to 40.

The course is aimed at researchers of all levels wanting to adopt electron microscopy as one of the tools at their disposal for elucidating biological structures.

Expected impact for young researches

CryoET is one of the most promising structural techniques, and it bridges the gap between structural and molecular biology and cell biology. Ph.D. students, as well as post-docs, will undoubtedly benefit from approaching this technique. Knowing it will open new doors to new positions worldwide.


Lead contact:  
Carlos Oscar Sorzano

Administrative Contact:
Blanca Benitez


Ana Cuervo (AC), Federico de Isidro (FI), Estrella Fernández (EF), David Herreros (DH), Jorge Jiménez (JJ), Javier Conesa (JC), Roberto Melero (RM), Carlos Oscar Sorzano Sánchez (COSS), Jose-María Carazo (JMC), Patricia Losana (PL), Jose Luis Vilas (JLV)


Day 1: From movies to tomograms

9:15   Course introduction. 
9:30   Movie alignment and Tilt Series alignment: fiducial and fiducialless approaches. 
12:30    Lunch Break
13:30 3D Reconstruction, CTF estimation and correction. 
17:30    End of day

Day 2: From tomograms to subtomograms

09:30    Tomogram denoising and segmentation. 
12:20    Lunch Break
13:30 Particle identification: different strategies, particle filtering according to their orientation in the tomogram. 
17:30    End of day

Day 3: Processing subtomograms

09:30    Subtomogram averaging. 
12:20    Lunch Break
13:30 Particle filtering using strategies based on the subtomogram averaging and mapping back subtomograms. 
17:30    End of day

Day 4: Tomogram interpretation

09:30    Tomogram segmentation.
12:20    End of course


Registration online closed.


Registration Fee

This course is funded by Instruct – ERIC, an Integrated Structural Biology Infrastructure for Europe.