We are requesting funds to purchase a Gatan K2 Summit direct electron detector that will support the research programs of nine NIH-funded investigators at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. This detector will replace an outdated and unserviceable Tietz 4k x 4k CCD presently interfaced with a Polara G2 300 kV FEG cryoelectron microscope. This state-of-the-art K2 Summit detector has significantly improved signal-to-noise, fast read-out rates and has electron-counting capabilities that will provide investigators unprecedented resolution and throughput required for supporting high-resolution single particle, 2D electron crystallography and electron cryo-tomography projects. Data from the K2 detector will be collected on a separate high-end workstation processed through the Summit's high-speed data chassis capable of read-out rates of up to 400 frames per second. The detector will be integrated into the existing Polara G2 electron microscope and will be managed using the well-established infrastructure already in place. There is no other direct detector (or cryo-electron microscope) in the UT Health Science Center capable of supporting these projects. The total projected usage from the four major investigators is ~80%, leaving ~20% time for the five minor investigators and for supporting other new potential projects requiring cryoelectron microscopy. The Institution has made a major financial commitment of $40,000 per year for five years to support the projected maintenance costs of the new direct detector. In total, we have a cohort of well-funded NIH investigators relying on an unserviceable and out-of-date 9-year-old CCD camera. All of their research programs employ the unique advantages of cryo-EM to enable correlations between molecular mechanism and function for a host of basic prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell biological and biochemical processes that carry significant health- related impacts. The requested Gatan K2 Summit direct detector will enormously facilitate the pace of their research programs and provide structural insights not previously achievable.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grants (S10)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-CB-R (30))
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Levy, Abraham
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University of Texas Health Science Center Houston
Schools of Medicine
United States
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