Training

Training Outline

All new users must go through the following program. Some variation is possible based on user’s previous experience.

  1. Negative Stain Screening

    A week long cycle, comprising of a 3 hours group demo session and 5 individual 1 hour sessions. Offered once a month and limited up to 4 people. Apoferritin is used as the standard training sample, so personal sample is not required. However, in case of more than 4 users requesting training, preference will be given to those with ready samples and to established students and post-docs (over rotation / summer students).  General outline of the week: Monday 9-12 am group demo session of preparing negative stain samples and using T12. Monday afternoon through Friday afternoon up to 5 individual session per user to practice operating the microscope. Successful completion of the training make the user eligible for after hour access to the T12.

  2. Single Particle or Micro-ED

    A one day Single Particle group demo session is a requirement for any user interested in Single Particle or Tomo collections of their own. A standard apoferritin sample is used to demonstrate grid preparation, clipping, loading, and set up of SerialEM for screening and collection on the Arctica. Trainees are encourage to use the test data to independently learn SP processing packages (Relion, Cryosparc). Following the demo session, users with ready samples, are required to contact managers to schedule individual sessions for training on grid freezing and microscope usage. To accelerate the process, new users are allowed to work with expert users from their labs. The Expert User must be present at the equipment at ALL TIMES with the trainee. To gain independence on the equipment, users must demonstrate correct use of the equipment to the facility managers. It is not possible to predict the number of sessions needed by a user to feel comfortable with the equipment, as it will depend on frequency of usage and user aptitude. After demonstrating sufficient ability, users are granted ability to sign up and use microscopes independently during work hours. For full independence, including nights and weekend, users must complete the Advanced Microscope Training session.

  3. Tomography

    After completion of the group Single Particle session, users interested in tomography and ready samples must contact facility managers to schedule time for training on grid preparation and microscope usage. To accelerate the process, new users are allowed to work with expert users from their labs. The Expert User must be present at the equipment at ALL TIMES with the trainee. To gain independence on the equipment, users must demonstrate correct use of the equipment to the facility managers. It is not possible to predict the number of sessions needed by a user to feel comfortable with the equipment, as it will depend on frequency of usage and user aptitude. After demonstrating sufficient ability, users are granted ability to sign up and use microscopes independently during work hours. For full independence, including nights and weekend, users must complete the Advanced Microscope Training session.

  4. Advanced Microscope Training

    This session covers advanced microscope alignments, limited troubleshooting, and additional factors to consider when making single particle or tomography grids. Some of these topic could be covered trough out previous training sessions. This session is only required for users interested in being able to use the microscopes over night / weekends.