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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Getting started in cryo-EM by Caltech

239 ratings
43 reviews

About the Course

This class covers the fundamental principles underlying cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) starting with the basic anatomy of electron microscopes, an introduction to Fourier transforms, and the principles of image formation. Building upon that foundation, the class then covers the sample preparation issues, data collection strategies, and basic image processing workflows for all 3 basic modalities of modern cryo-EM: tomography, single particle analysis, and 2-D crystallography. Philosophy: The course emphasizes concepts rather than mathematical details, taught through numerous drawings and example images. It is meant for anyone interested in the burgeoning fields of cryo-EM and 3-D EM, including cell biologists or molecular biologists without extensive training in mathematics or imaging physics and practicing electron microscopists who want to broaden their understanding of the field. The class is perfect as a primer for anyone who is about to be trained as a cryo-electron microscopist, or for anyone who needs an introduction to the field to be able to understand the literature or the talks and conversations they will hear at cryo-EM meetings. Pre-requisites: The recommended prerequisites are college-freshman-level math, physics, and biochemistry. Pace: There are 14.5 hours of lecture videos total separated into 40 individual “modules” lasting on average 20 minutes each. Each module has at the end a list of “concept check” questions you can use to test your knowledge of what was presented. As the modules are grouped into seven major subjects, one reasonable plan would be to go through one major subject each day. That would mean watching a couple hours of lecture and spending another hour or so thinking through the concept check questions each day for a week. Another reasonable plan would be to go through one module each day for a little over a month, or even three modules a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) for a 3-month term. It is likely that as you then move on to actually begin using a cryo-EM or otherwise engage in the field, you will want to repeat certain modules....

Top reviews


Feb 19, 2018

Great course. I thought it was presented in a very informative way and i learned a lot about cryo-EM. In fact, it made me want to learn more about it. Thank you.


Jul 20, 2016

An excellent introduction to the topic, explaining from the basics to the detail of things. Useful and recommended to anyone in structural biology.

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26 - 43 of 43 Reviews for Getting started in cryo-EM

By Yulia R

Aug 28, 2015

Very clear, very easy to understand, a lot of useful information. Excellent course.

By sreenu b

Aug 11, 2016

Excellent class and Presentation with all clarity concepts

By Robert F

Apr 04, 2017

Great course with clear explanations and very entertaining topics! Didn't expect to cover so many aspects of cryo-EM, would recommend it to everyone interested/working in structural biology or science in general.

By Aleix L

Jul 20, 2016

An excellent introduction to the topic, explaining from the basics to the detail of things. Useful and recommended to anyone in structural biology.

By stanwang

Oct 19, 2017


By Jonathan F

May 18, 2017

Great course, very informal - really improved my knowledge in the field of EM

By Vadim S

Jun 23, 2017

Great job! Clear explanations, drawings, schemes.

By minagquan

Sep 10, 2015


By jadson c d s

Dec 28, 2015


By Shokir A P

Sep 13, 2015

great course!

By Daniil B

Nov 14, 2015

Very nice description of electronic microscopy techniques

By meera k m

Feb 22, 2016

very informative, simple and easily understandable. Love it

By Nivetha R

Oct 12, 2019

Extremely Helpful and very comfortable to learn

By Marcus G

Jan 02, 2016

Great introduction to Cryo-EM for biologists that covers all the basics in a clear and concise manner.

By Andrew L P

Aug 19, 2015

Just needs a certificate and some practice concept questsions added and would be perfect. Right now just really interesting videos for the intermediate mind...not much math...mostly concepts so good for the beginner who wants to know more. :)

By Christine L

Oct 19, 2016

Excellent content

By Haris F

Jan 11, 2016

Pioneering online course in Electron Microscopy.

By Herman A

Feb 01, 2016

Great information, great teacher, greater visual presentation. Disclaimer: I only took the first week.