Electron Cryo-Microscopy Core Facility


The Cryo-EM (cryogenic electron microscopy) Core Facility at UTHealth is a state-of-the-art resource in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas. The facility was established to meet the needs of researchers in Houston and nationwide who do not have adequate access to the latest cryo-EM instrumentation and expertise. Recent advances in cryo-EM technology have opened a new door in structural biology attracting a steadily growing community of researchers around the world motivated by the prospect of using cryo-EM to solve high-resolution structures of molecular targets associated with human diseases but have not been amenable to the traditionally employed X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. The mission of our Cryo-EM Facility is to provide access to cryo-EM instrumentation and to serve researchers from different backgrounds to tackle a wide variety of challenging biological structures ranging from individual molecules and their assemblies to subcellular organelles and whole cells that otherwise defy structural characterization.

The Cryo-EM Core Facility is equipped with high-end electron cryomicroscopes and the associated ancillary equipment for cryospecimen preparation, and is capable to provide atomic resolution imaging for single particle analysis (SPA cryo-EM) and for electron cryo-tomography (cryo-ET).

We offer divers service packages for experts to novice users across the cryo-EM workflow including optimization of cryo-specimen preparation, cryo-grids screening and high-resolution cryo-EM/cryo-ET data acquisition. The Cryo-EM Core Facility is housed in a custom-built microscopy suite in the McGovern Medical School Building in the Texas Medical Center.


  • Titan Krios G3 (300 KeV X-FEG, ThermoFisher Scientific) cryo-TEM equipped with
    • BioQuantum Energy Filter with K2 Summit direct detector
    • Volta Phase Plate
    • 12-position cryo-sample autoloader
    • Automated data collection through EPU, Tomo and SerialEM
  • TFS Glacios F30 (200 keV X-FEG, ThermoFisher Scientific) cryo-TEM equipped with
    • Falcon 4i
    • Selectris Energy Filter
    • 12-position cryo-sample autoloader
    • MicroED
    • Automated data collection through EPU, Tomo and SerialEM
  • Ancillary equipment for cryospecimen preparation
    • FEI Vitrobot (Mark IV)
    • Leica EMGP
    • Manual plungers
    • Glow Discharging
    • Carbon Coating

Acknowledging Cryo-EM Core

Any use of the resources at UTHealth Cryo-EM Core Facility requires acknowledgement of the resources in publications and presentations.

Cancer-related work taking place on the Titan Krios at subsidized rates has to acknowledge CPRIT Core Facility Grant RP190602.

Example: Cryo-EM work (or Some of this cryo-EM work) was performed at the Cryo-EM Core Facility supported by the UTHealth Structural Biology Imaging Center at Houston and by grant from the NIH Office of the Director (1S10OD032204).  Titan Krios G3 subsidized by CPRIT Core Facility Award RP190602 was used for cryo-EM data acquisition in this work.

Getting Started

For more information regarding how to apply for microscope usage click here.


Irina Serysheva, Ph.D. | Core Facility Director

Guizhen Fan, Ph.D. | Cryo-EM Specialist

Mariah Baker, Ph.D. | Cryo-EM Specialist

Venkata Mallampalli | Technical Manager

Mehdi Zarei | Research Assistant II