Methods and Applications of
Microcrystal Electron Diffraction (MicroED)
A common barrier to high-resolution structure determination is the growth of large well-ordered crystals. Electron diffraction is capable of producing diffraction data from crystals that are orders of magnitude smaller than those needed for conventional X-ray crystallographic experiments. In this presentation, the technique of microcrystal electron diffraction, or MicroED, will be described, which allows the collection of high-resolution diffraction data from extremely small nano and microcrystals. MicroED methods will be described along with representative applications where MicroED was used for structure determination. Additionally, current work in our lab, which is focused on improving MicroED methodology and extending this technique to new samples will be presented.
Brent Nannenga is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering in the School for Engineering Matter, Transport and Energy at Arizona State University and a member of The Biodesign Institute’s Center for Applied Structural Discovery. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2011. Following his graduate studies, he conducted postdoctoral research at Janelia Research Campus (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) where he focused on the development and application of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), specifically the development of microcrystal electron diffraction (MicroED). Since joining Arizona State University in 2015, his research has focused on developing and applying methods for high-resolution structure determination and expanding the capabilities of MicroED. His work has been recognized by awards including an NSF CAREER Award, Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Award, the 2020 Burton Medal from the Microscopy Society of America, and the 2022 Margaret C. Etter Early Career Award from the American Crystallographic Association.