Electron Microscopy Training

Investigators who are interested in using electron microscopes and other equipment in the EM facility are required to demonstrate competency on the instrument they propose to operate. To that end, the EM core facility offers the practical training program on electron microscopy at both basic and advanced levels. Trainees will learn principles of electron microscopy, operating and optimizing procedures of the electron microscope, and other necessary skills to acquire good-quality EM images. Successful completion of the individual training is required before being allowed to operate EM independently and access to other resources in the core facility. 

The training sessions will be performed on FEI Tecnai T12, Biotwin, F20 cryo EM or TF20 tomography microscopes depending on applicable EM studies. The one-to-one training is arranged in 2-hour sessions, 3-5 sessions are generally given based on the trainee’s skill level and imaging needs. Training should be completed within 8-10 weeks after the initial training session. Trainees will be required to pass a practical test during the final training session, this will grant independent access to the microscopes and to schedule future independent EM sessions using the online scheduler. The prepaid 6 hours of EM time (basic training only) will allow new authorized users to practice and improve their skills after the training is completed. The unused prepaid hours expire in 3 months after successful completion of the training. Access to microscopes after hours is allowed only after the user has demonstrated the ability to independently operate the microscope in an appropriate manner.

Investigators who have qualified on instruments elsewhere must be instructed in the use of the current equipment and pass the practical test. If further training is required, scheduled sessions will be available. Individual operators must be able to assess the working condition of an instrument, and will be held responsible for informing the facility staff if an instrument is not performing properly.

Training and access to the advanced FEG (Field Emission Gun) equipped electron microscopes are provided and authorized by the EM facility director/manager. The advanced training for cryo EM and electron tomography is available but only to users who have specific imaging needs, and have completed the basic EM training and accumulated at least 20 hours on the Biotwin or T12 in the EM facility. Additionally, training on EM specimen preparation equipment or ultramicrotome sectioning is also available.