FEI Collaborates With NIH to Create New ’Living Lab’ for Structural Biology Research
Collaboration Combines Electron Microscopy, NMR and X-ray Diffraction Methods to Provide Advances in Structural Biology Using cryo-EM to Accelerate Discoveries About the Causes, Treatments and Cures for Disease
HILLSBORO, Ore., Jan. 12, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — FEI (Nasdaq:FEIC) has entered into a Cooperative Research And Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), creating a “Living Lab Structural Biology Center” to promote structural biology research through the integration of cryo-electron microscopy (EM), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) which may accelerate important medical discoveries relating to global health challenges such as HIV/AIDS and cancer.
The “Living Lab for Structural Biology,” which will be located on the NIH campus, is a unique, interdisciplinary collaboration among experts from FEI and internationally-recognized scientists from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in the fields of cryo-EM, X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and biochemistry. The research program will be enabled with FEI’s Titan Krios™ transmission electron microscope (TEM), the world’s most powerful commercially-available electron microscope for structural biology, and continued development of other state-of-the-art technologies necessary to advance the scientific scope of the collaboration.
Dr. Sriram Subramaniam, senior investigator in the Laboratory of Cell Biology of the National Cancer Institute, and a recognized leader in cryo-electron microscopy and related techniques, will serve as director of the Living Lab on the NIH campus. Leading NIH scientists in various other fields, including NMR spectroscopists such as Drs. Adriaan Bax and G. Marius Clore, X-ray crystallographers such as Drs. Fred Dyda and Alex Wlodawer and biochemists such as Drs. Suresh Ambudkar and Stuart Le Grice, will also actively participate in the multi-faceted research program of the Living Lab.
The collaboration involves the development of methods and workflows, from sample preparation through data analysis, which combine information from cryo-EM, XRD, and NMR. Scientists have historically relied on NMR and XRD techniques to determine the structures of molecular complexes and proteins that play a role in the causes of various diseases, such as AIDS, diabetes and cancer. Structural information about a variety of medically important proteins and drugs have been obtained by NMR and XRD methods, however, there are limitations to these techniques which put some of the critical biological answers out of reach. Cryo-EM is a complementary analytical technique that provides near-atomic resolution without requirements for crystallization or limits on molecular size and complexity imposed by the other techniques.
FEI’s President and CEO Dr. Don Kania commented, “This collaborative effort with NIH is a critical part of our strategy to provide complete microscopy solutions for life science research. Our Life Sciences business has been increasing rapidly and is a key part of our overall corporate growth plan. Helping our customers obtain increased value from electron microscopy in conjunction with and complementary to XRD and NMR is a key element of that plan.”
FEI (Nasdaq:FEIC) is a leading diversified scientific instruments company. It is a premier provider of electron- and ion-beam microscopes and solutions for nanoscale applications across many industries: industrial and academic materials research, life sciences, semiconductors, data storage, natural resources and more. With more than 60 years of technological innovation and leadership, FEI has set the performance standard in transmission electron microscopes (TEM), scanning electron microscopes (SEM) and DualBeams™, which combine a SEM with a focused ion beam (FIB). Headquartered in Hillsboro, Ore., USA, FEI has over 2,000 employees and sales and service operations in more than 50 countries around the world. More information can be found at: www.fei.com.
FEI Safe Harbor Statement
This news release contains forward-looking statements that include statements regarding the performance capabilities and benefits of the Living Lab for Structural Biology. Factors that could affect these forward-looking statements include but are not limited to: failure of the anticipated Living Lab collaboration to function as expected across multiple technologies to accelerate research and development on certain important life sciences issues; failure to manufacture, ship and deliver the tools or software as expected; other specific product or technology failures that could undermine the aims and outcomes of the collaboration; failure of the collaborative team to work together effectively; failure to develop the applications and software required for the collaboration to achieve its research goals or a change in assigned research personnel. Please also refer to our Form 10-K, Forms 10-Q, Forms 8-K and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for additional information on these factors and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. FEI assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements.
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