25th of October 2018, will go down in history not only for the National Synchrotron Radiation Center SOLARIS, but also for the entire Polish scientific community. On that day, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education handed over the official decision concerning the prestigious application for the establishing of the National Cryo-EM Center at NSRC SOLARIS to the director of Solaris Centre, prof. Marek Stankiewicz, granting the requested financial support. The successful application, which was submitted by the Krakow Synchrotron, is a result of an agreement and cooperation of 17 leading scientific institutions in Poland in the area of structural biology. This very unique nation-wide consortium, led by Dr. Sebastian Glatt (Malopolska Centre of Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow) and Dr. Marcin Nowotny (International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw), was not only key to bring this breakthrough research technique to Poland, but also exemplifies how scientists from all corners of the country are able to work efficiently together for a greater common goal. This unique state-of-the-art microscope will allow its users to keep pace with other international research centers and will transfer Polish scientists into the first class of structural biology.
The advances made in cryo-EM have revolutionized the field of structural biology over the last decade. The increased recognition of this technology has also culminated in the Chemistry Nobel Prize being awarded to its creators in 2017. The development of this technique has opened up new research horizons, which resulted in a long list of groundbreaking studies published in the most prestigious scientific journals. Foremost, the anticipated results are not only extremely relevant for understanding the function of the human body regulations and the formation of human diseases, but also processes like aging and the development of new effective therapies. Structural biology already has contributed to a huge progress in the treatment of various human diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and obesity. Last but not least, the presence of a high-end cryo-electron microscope at the SOLARIS Center means that Krakow will attract national and international communities of structural biologists for their most precise measurements.
Financing of the project by the Polish ministry will be a part of the implementation of tasks under the project “Consortium for Central European Research Infrastructure CERIC-ERIC”. The creation of the National Center of Electron Cryomicroscopy at SOLARIS will expand the CERIC-ERIC research range with an access to the Cryo-EM technique, which is among the most important methodologies in modern research.
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