Workshops are designed for individuals in the same field, discipline or interests to network and learn the most recent developments and techniques.    As opposed to a session, workshops hold potential for participants to receive some personal attention and the chance to share.  ACA workshops are conducted by individuals who have real experience and passion in the subject under discussion.  While workshops can have different formats, very often our workshops are participatory, i.e. participants are active, both in that they influence the direction of the workshop and also in that they have a chance to practice the techniques, skills, etc. that are under discussion.  There's a good deal of discussion in addition to participation, rather than just a teacher presenting material to be absorbed by attentive students. 

The ACA is excited to offer the following workshops at the 2021 Annual Meeting.   Please note that the following information is tentative and subject to change.  For those workshops with a capacity limit, once we have received the maximum number of registrations we will start a waitlist and accept additional attendees if possible.  


WK1: Characterization of Soft Materials Via Small Angle Scattering: Applications of Scattering for Polymer Systems
Monday, August 9, 2021 | 1:00 PM EST - 5:00 PM EST (PART 1)
Tuesday, August 10, 2021 | 1:00 PM EST - 5:00 PM EST (PART 2)
Wednesday, August 11, 2021 | 1:00 PM EST - 5:00 PM EST (PART 3)
Primary Organizational Contact: Thomas Fitzgibbons
Registration Cap: 35


X-ray and Neutron scattering are powerful tools to characterize polymer systems both in solution and in the solid state. This workshop aims to provide an introduction to scattering of polymer systems in dilute solution, interacting and self-assembled agglomerates, the melt state, and the crystalline state. We will focus on the fundamentals of small and wide angle scattering and how various analytical approaches through modeling and peak fitting can allow the user to decipher information about the polymer chains, aggregate size and shape, and crystallization behavior. The structural information gained from these scattering studies can provide insight into the properties that the macromolecules exhibit in their various applications.

Sponsored by:


WK2: Introduction to Hydroxyl Radical Footprinting Methods for Structural Analysis of Proteins and Complexes
Monday, August 9, 2021 | 12:00 PM EST - 4:00 PM EST
Primary Organizational Contact: Corie Ralston
Registration Cap: 100

The solvent accessibility method of hydroxyl radical footprinting has been gaining in popularity as a complementary method to the other more widely known structural biology methods, such as crystallography, small-angle scattering, and cryoEM. The method can be used to determine structural and dynamics information on proteins in solution as a function of folding or binding, under a variety of buffer conditions, at millisecond time scales, and even in cell-like environments. In this workshop, we will first review the basics of solvent accessibility methods and how they are used to yield information on protein structure. We will then present hands-on tutorials covering data collection methods, and will take participants through the analysis of a complete footprinting dataset. Two mass spectrometry analysis software demos will be included, one from Protein Metrics Inc (PMI), and one from GenNext Technologies. Participants will be able to download the PMI software onto a PC laptop (or an Apple laptop running a virtual Windows environment) and will be provided with a test data set for practice. By the end of the workshop, participants should have an understanding of the theory behind footprinting methods, and a basic grasp of how footprinting data is obtained and analyzed.


WK3: Fundamentals of Single Particle Cryo-EM
Tuesday, August 17, 2021 | 12:10 PM EST - 4:30 PM EST (PART 1)
Wednesday, August 18, 2021 | 12:15 PM EST - 4:00 PM EST (PART 2)
*Optional Reception: August 18, 2021 4:15 PM EST*
Primary Organizational Contact: Mark Herzik
Registration Cap: 200

Sponsored By:




Cryogenic-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has emerged as an increasingly more powerful technique to visualize frozen biological macromolecules in near-native states. Recent advances have enabled cryo-EM to deliver high-resolution density maps approaching 1.5 Å or better with maps in the 2-4 Å range now routinely being attained, informing the construction of atomic models with high confidence. This new capacity has led to increasingly more interest in adopting cryo-EM and, consequently, there is a large need for training in cryo-EM principles and methods.

This workshop will focus on the fundamentals of cryo-EM and primarily benefit those who are new to the field. In this workshop, we will highlight historical advances leading to the current state of the field, provide an overview of EM sample preparation and data collection, and detail cryo-EM data processing, interpretation and validation. We will monitor a live data collection and provide tutorials on “on-the-fly” cryo-EM data processing. This workshop is a companion workshops to “Managing and Using National cryo-EM Facilities”.

PART ONE:    Tuesday, August 17
12:15 PM ET - 12:30 PM ET Mark Herzik, Liz Kellogg, & Ed Twomey – Welcome and Introduction 
12:30 PM ET - 1:00 PM ET Eva Nogales - Perspective on the Field of Cryo-EM and Future Prospects
1:00 PM ET - 1:45 PM ET Chris Russo – Cryo-EM Specimen Preparation: Principles and Pitfalls
1:45 PM ET - 2:30 PM ET Michael Cianfrocco – Principles of Imaging and Image-Processing
2:30 PM ET - 3:00 PM ET Coffee Break & Discussion on Morning Topics
3:00 PM ET - 3:45 PM ET Mimi Ho – Dealing with Challenging Samples and Heterogeneity
3:45 PM ET - 4:30 PM ET Oli Clarke – Map interpretation and Validation
4:30 PM ET - 5:00 PM ET Wrap-up/Discussion


PART TWO:    Wednesday, 18 August 
12:15 PM ET - 12:30 PM ET Mark Herzik, Liz Kellogg, & Ed Twomey – Welcome and Introduction
12:30 PM ET - 1:15 PM ET Ed Eng/Craig Yoshioka – U.S. National Cryo-EM Resources and How to Apply
1:15 PM ET - 2:00 PM ET Ed Eng – Live data collection at NCCAT
2:00 PM ET - 4:00 PM ET Ali Punjani - Cryosparc live demonstration
4:00 PM ET - 4:15 PM ET Wrap-up/Discussion
4:15 PM ET - 6:00 PM ET Reception (virtual) with demonstrations from ThermoFisher Scientific (joint with Managing and Using National U.S. CryoEM Facilities)


WK4: Managing and Using National Cryo-EM Facilities
Monday, August 16, 2021 | 12:00 PM EST - 6:00 PM EST
*Optional Reception: August 18, 2021 6:00 PM EST*
Primary Organizational Contact: Ed Eng
Registration Cap: 200

Sponsored By:


Cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) is a method used to image frozen biological molecules, such as proteins and nucleic acids, without the need for structure-altering dyes or crystallization. Recent advances in cryoEM methods and technology have greatly extended its resolution and the amount of information it can provide about viruses, proteins, and other important biomolecules. CryoEM instrumentation is being installed at many universities, and is also available at large multiuser facilities both in the U.S. and worldwide. This workshop will focus on the management of multi-user cryoEM facilities. The objective is to discuss the infrastructure and operations needed to run a cryoEM facility, as well as how to interface with the NIH sponsored cryoEM national service centers.

This workshop is a companion workshop to the Fundamentals of Single Particle Cryo-EM, and will benefit those who want to use the national cryoEM centers, staff who may be in charge of cryoEM facilities, or individuals starting up new cryoEM resources and cores.

 Monday, August 16

1:00 PM ET - 1:05 PM ET

Ed Eng (NYSBC/NCCAT) & Craig Yoshioka (OHSU/PNCC) – Welcome and Introduction 

1:05 PM ET - 1:35 PM ET

Section 1- CryoEM Operations: 

Thomas Edwards (FNLCR/NCEF) – Instrumentation Environment & Maintenance

1:35 PM ET - 2:05 PM ET

Section 1- CryoEM Operations: 

Anchi Cheng (NYSBC) – Data Acquisition Options and Tradeoffs

2:05 PM ET - 2:30 PM ET

Section 1- CryoEM Operations: 

Thomas Edwards (FNLCR/NCEF), Anchi Cheng (NYSBC), Ed Eng (NYSBC/NCCAT)
Panel discussion: Building and managing a cryoEM facility
Topic1: Siting and building a facility
Topic2: Choice of instrumentation and upgrades
Topic3: Data collection

2:30 PM ET - 2:45 PM ET

Coffee Break

2:45 PM ET - 3:15 PM ET

Section 2: IT Infrastructure:

Ali Punjani (Structura Biotechnology Inc.) – Real-time cryoEM feedback: cryoSPARC live

3:15 PM ET - 3:45 PM ET

Section 2: IT Infrastructure:

Corey Hecksel (SLAC/S2C2), Craig Yoshioka (OHSU/PNCC), Ali Punjani (Structura Biotechnology Inc.)
Panel discussion: CryoEM computation
Topic1: Data management for cryoEM data and security
Topic2: IT requirements for a laboratory getting into cryoEM

3:45 PM ET - 4:00 PM ET

Coffee Break

4:00 PM ET - 4:20 PM ET

Section 3: User Training:

Ed Eng (NYSBC/NCCAT) & Craig Yoshioka (OHSU/PNCC) – CryoEM Merit Badges: Training modules for new cryoEM practitioners

4:30 PM ET - 4:50 PM ET 

Section 3: User Training: 

Corey Hecksel (SLAC/S2C2), Ed Eng (NYSBC/NCCAT) & Craig Yoshioka (OHSU/PNCC)
Panel discussion: Training users
Topic1: What users need to learn to be productive
Topic2: Concerns and scenarios in user training

4:50 PM ET - 5:00 PM ET

Wrap up

5:00 PM ET - 6:00 PM ET

Section 4: Additional discussion & networking (breakout rooms)
Topic1: Sample screening and readiness
Topic2: Sample storage, shipping and grid lifecycle

6:00 PM ET 

Reception (virtual) with demonstrations from ThermoFisher Scientific (joint with Managing and Using National U.S. CryoEM Facilities)

WK5: MicroED of Small and Macromolecules
Thursday, August 12, 2021 | 1:00 PM EST - 5:00 PM EST 
Primary Organizational Contact: Tamir Gonen
Registration Cap: 50


The aim of this workshop is to provide training for microcrystal electron diffraction data collection and reduction. Topics that will be covered include sample preparation, focused ion beam milling of crystals, data collection and reduction strategies. Due to the virtual nature of the workshop, we will have seminars but no "hands-on" processing nor data collection demonstration.

Sponsored by: