Support for An Innovative CryoSTEM for Element Specific Imaging of Cells and Tissue

Type of Award: Spark
Date Awarded: June 2009
Award End Date: May 2011
Amount Awarded: $ 379,341.00
PI(s): Thomas O'Halloran, PhD, NU; Jonathan Silverstein, MD, UChicago; Vinayak Dravid, PhD, NU;

Abstract: Support from the two-year Spark Award will be used to fund two scientists who will aid CBC faculty members in using a high-resolution cryo-capable scanning transmission electron microscope (Cryo STEM), soon to be acquired. The microscope is capable of following changes in subcellular distributions of essential or toxic metal ions at the level of a few hundred atoms at a time and offers the unprecedented ability to produce quantitative maps of each relevant element within a biological sample. One CBC-funded scientist will support use of the instrument and train and advise CBC users in sample preparation and data acquisition. A second CBC-funded scientist will make the resulting multidimensional data usable by developing computational methods for 2-D and 3-D volumetric rendering representing the spatial variations in elemental concentrations.
This spark award leverages core funding that the team, along with Teresa Woodruff of Northwestern, received from the W. M. Keck Foundation for the purchase and installation of the Cryo STEM. The acquisition of this custom-designed high-resolution electron microscope will bring a novel imaging resource to the Chicago area. While the device will be located on the Northwestern Evanston campus, the full-time staff supported by the CBC will open up use of this unique and exciting technology to researchers from the other CBC member institutions.