Partnership established to support Cryo-EM research

15th July 2021
Alex Lynn

Panasas and the University of Wollongong (UOW) in Australia have announced a five-year strategic alliance to support medical and scientific research initiatives that deploy cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM).

Cryo-EM is a powerful technique that lets researchers study high-resolution density maps of frozen-hydrated specimens of viruses, cellular structures and protein complexes that are maintained at cryogenic temperatures.

Panasas will equip UOW, one of the pioneering universities in Cryo-EM, with storage solutions to help drive leading-edge work on a variety of initiatives – everything from cancer research to green battery alternatives that power electric vehicles. UOW will also serve as a center for the training of new Cryo-EM scientists throughout Australia.

Prof Antoine van Oijen, Director of the Molecular Horizons Institute, 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.”

“This will allow us to accelerate workloads and store important data for our various research projects,” commented Dr James Bouwer, Director of Cryo-EM at Molecular Horizons at the University of Wollongong. “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.”

Adam Marko, Director of Life Science Solutions at Panasas, added: “This is a true collaborative effort, not just a technology sale. When the university looked to upgrade its legacy storage infrastructure, UOW chose Panasas because it needed a collaborative partner and a leading-edge technology supplier. Panasas will not only be providing infrastructure, but also additional engineering expertise to optimise workflows and design reference architectures.”

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