California-based Panasas has joined forces with the University of Wollongong (UOW) in Australia to support medical and scientific research initiatives that deploy cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM).

A technique where a sample is cooled to cryogenic temperatures (below -180°C) and unprecedented levels of insight into biomolecular research is enabled, Cryo-EM allows scientists to create 3D images of proteins and viruses, and better understand how proteins in the body operate and malfunction.

Having signed a five-year strategic alliance on Tuesday (13th July), the duo will collaborate on such solutions to help drive work on a variety incentives, from cancer research to green battery alternatives.

UOW will serve as a centre for the training of new Cryo-EM scientists throughout Australia.

Professor Antoine van Oijen, Director of the Molecular Horizons Institute at UOW, described the partnership with Panasas as an important piece of the puzzle to establish accessible imaging infrastructure for the medical sciences.

“Developing new cures and therapeutics critically relies on a foundation of fundamental research, particularly on the function and structure of biological molecules,” he said. “This area of research is very data intensive and partnering with Panasas represents a big step for us in realising our vision in this sector.”

Dr. James Bouwer, Director of Cryo-EM at Molecular Horizons at UOW, added, “This will allow us to accelerate workloads and store important data for our various research projects. This collaboration between two very high-value players coming together in true partnership will support Australian science in general, and more specifically, the University’s role in furthering our understanding in these important areas of science.”