The IMOD software package provides tools for generating, viewing, and analyzing 3-dimensional (3-D) image data, with a focus on tools for electron tomography, which involves the reconstruction of the interior of a specimen from a series of tilted views obtained with an electron microscope. The use of tomography has been growing rapidly in cell and structural biology research, and there is potential for even wider use in diverse areas of biomedical research. The long-term goals of this project are 1) to continue the development of the IMOD software so that it will continue to offer a powerful and attractive package for tomographic reconstruction, even as methods and equipment evolve, and 2) to provide a resource that can be both used and built upon by others in the biological microscopy community.
One aim i s to work towards complete automation of the process of tomographic reconstruction, which includes automating the alignment of images and reducing user effort in other steps of the process.
A second aim i s to add new features in response to users'needs. This work includes providing access to new features in the user interface for tomographic reconstruction and other data processing, and enhancing the graphical modeling program in IMOD for better analysis and visualization of 3-D data. User interfaces and documentation will also be upgraded to make the software easier to use.
A third aim i s to improve and modernize some aspects of the underlying source code and to maintain the availability of the software on multiple platforms (Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Macintosh OS X). This work will enable the software to use the power of modern computers more efficiently and make it function better with the large data sets that are becoming increasingly common.

Public Health Relevance

This project develops and maintains software that is used for a wide range of biological research around the world. Much of this research advances the basic understanding of structures within cells that provides an underpinning for research more directly related to health issues. Some of the research is on organisms or cellular structures involved in specific diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BDMA-M (03))
Program Officer
Pai, Vinay Manjunath
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Colorado at Boulder
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
Zip Code
Xiong, Quanren; Morphew, Mary K; Schwartz, Cindi L et al. (2009) CTF determination and correction for low dose tomographic tilt series. J Struct Biol 168:378-87
Mastronarde, D N (2008) Correction for non-perpendicularity of beam and tilt axis in tomographic reconstructions with the IMOD package. J Microsc 230:212-7