A new $8.1m cryogenic-electron microscopy centre has opened at the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Established to accelerate the treatment of disease, the new facility features cryogenic-electron microscopy technology and will service the biotech and pharmaceutical industry sciences.

An installed cryo-electron microscope will allow researchers and clinicians to take a unique look at proteins, which are the basic machinery of life and the targets of pharmaceuticals.

Cryo-electron microscopes flash-freeze proteins in motion and then use a beam of electrons to visualise what those proteins look like. Cryogenic-electron microscopy has accelerated discovery times from what has been decades, in some instances, to months or less.

Opening the facility, Governor Andrew Cuomo, said, “A critical part of building New York back better than it was before is ensuring our public health system is prepared for the next pandemic.”

“This state-of-the-art facility will help researchers develop innovative techniques and effective treatments for infectious diseases so that our medical professionals are better equipped to handle any outbreaks that may occur in the future, while also attracting other biomedical companies to the region and strengthening Western New York’s position as a hub for this burgeoning industry.”

Now operational, the centre will be a magnet for biomedical research-and-development companies to establish regional research hubs near the cryogenic-electron facilities, with associated job creation at multiple levels

Further to that, the facility includes a sample preparation lab, an instrument operator suite, three microscope rooms and a visitor centre. The institute plans to bring on additional microscopes for the other two microscopes rooms as the centre grows.

Dr. Edward Snell, Hauptman-Woodward’s President and CEO, commented, “For more than 60 years, HWI has helped generations of researchers see and understand what is happening inside the human body so they can create therapies and cures that impact and improve public health.”

“Today, thanks to the faith and support of countless people and organisations in creating our new cryogenic-electron microscopy centre, we are expanding our ability to impact human health today and for generations to come.”