The PI is developing a "molecular microscope" capable of taking nanometer-resolution magnetic resonance images of individual macromolecules. In support of this work, the PI will be trained in state-of-the- art cryo-electron microscopy, and will carry out research to develop improved approaches for preparing fragile biomacromolecules for study at low temperatures in vacuum. The proposed research in sample preparation will make it much easier to study a wider range of samples by both cryo-electron microscopy and nanometer-resolution magnetic resonance imaging.
In order to better understand the functioning of both diseased and healthy tissue, new tools for deter- mining the three dimensional structure of single macromolecules and macromolecular complexes are urgently needed. This grant will improve our ability to use cryo-electron microscopy to study precious or difficult-to-prepare samples such as membrane proteins. It will also accelerate development of nanometer-resolution magnetic resonance imaging.