Advanced Electron Microscopy

Contact Us

Jotham (Joe) Austin, II, PhD – Facility Director

Tera Lavoie, PhD – Technical Director

Yimei Chen – Associate Technical Director

Josh Fisher, MS – Research Technician

James Fuller, PhD – BMB Department Cryo-EM Liaison

Robert Keenan, PhD – Faculty Director


Advanced Electron Microscopy

Gordon Center for Integrated Science
929 E. 57th Street
Rooms: ESB07, ESB23 (Scope room)
Chicago, IL 60637

Franklin McLean Institute
IS-019 (I Corridor Sub-basement)
5824 South Ellis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

The Advanced Electron Microscopy (AEM) Core facility currently has over 16 million dollars in assets, including 6 Electron Microscopes. Additional details can be obtained on the AEM website: The facility is split into 2 locations, one dedicated to sample preparation and screening, occupying over 2000 sq ft in the Gordon Center for Integrative Sciences, and a newly renovated space dedicated to high resolution cryoEM and volume imaging in the Franklin McLean Research Institute (over 2800 sq ft). This new facility houses 3 electron microscopes, computer workstations, and room for future equipment. Our two locations are connected by enclosed passages that connect the medical centers and the research laboratories. Our electron microscopes include:

  • Thermo/FEI Tecnai F30 300kV 3D electron tomography/ STEM tomography
  • Thermo/FEI Tecnai Spirit 120kV routine electron microscope for room-temp and Cryo screening
  • Thermo Krios G3i: High resolution Cryo-SPA and Cryo-Tomography
  • Thermo VolumeScope): Large volume block-face SEM
  • Thermo Aquilos 2: Cryo-Dual Beam SEM for thinning samples for cryo-tomography (iFLM: integrated correlative fluorescence install Q3 2022)
  • Thermo Glacios: (install 04/2022): high-throughout cryo-grid screening; cryo MicroED and STEM capable

The facility also contains 2 VitroBot Mark IV plunge freezers, Bal-Tec high-pressure freezer, 2 Leica freeze-substitution devices, an Edwards evaporator, 2 Leica ultramicrotomes, a Fishione dual-axis high tilt holder for tomography, Gatan 626 cryo-holder and Elsa cryo holder, Gatan plasma cleaner, Leica Ace 600 carbon and sputter coater, computer workstations, ancillary laboratory equipment such as light microscopes, wet lab bench space, a CO2 incubator, fume hoods, a 400 TB FTP and 500 TB FTP data server, and general consumables related to electron microscopy. The AEM Faculty Director is Dr. Robert Keenan. The AEM Core Facility is staffed by Dr. Jotham Austin, II (Core Facility Director), Dr. Tera Lavoie (Core Technical Director) Dr. James Fuller (BMB cryoEM Research Associate), and Ms. Yimei Chen (Core Assistant Technical Director). Core may be identified in publications as The University of Chicago Advanced Electron Microscopy (RRID:SCR_019198).

The Advanced Electron Microscopy Core may be identified in publications as The University of Chicago Advanced Electron Microscopy Core Facility (RRID:SCR_019198).