The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry recognizes the pioneering work of three scientists, Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson, whose breakthrough developments in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) have helped to broaden the use of this technology within the structural biology community. The winners worked with systems manufactured by Thermo Fisher Scientific. Scientists can now routinely produce highly resolved, three-dimensional images of protein structures that lead to a better understanding of biological function and, ultimately, the development of new therapies.
According to the Nobel committee’s announcement, cryo-EM has moved biochemistry into “a new era” where it’s “now facing an explosive development and is all set for an exciting future.” The work of the three winners spans decades, and their individual contributions helped spark follow-on efforts internationally that comprise a broad effort to bring cryo-EM to a wider scientific research community.
“The fact that cryo-EM technology is now in the hands of more scientists is a testament to the accomplishments of the scientific community over decades,” said Mike Shafer, president, materials and structural analysis, Thermo Fisher Scientific. “The 2017 Nobel winners deserve recognition for filling in major pieces of the molecular mechanics puzzle. Thermo Fisher is committed to ongoing innovation to ensure that even more scientists, especially structural biologists, benefit from this game-changing technology.”
Thermo Fisher gained its industry-leading cryo-EM capabilities through the 2016 acquisition of FEI Company, and it continues to expand the platform to make the analysis of proteins, protein complexes and other biomolecular structures faster, easier and more accessible to scientists. The company is using its scale and global reach to further accelerate the adoption of cryo-EM across the field of structural biology, where new advancements have made this an increasingly important technology.
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