In 2007, Amit Singer and Yoel Shkolnisky were Gibbs Assistant Professors at Yale University and they followed the suggestion by Raphy Coifman to discuss the cryo-EM problem with Fred Sigworth. Their initial efforts to tackle the problem from a mathematical perspective were greatly enhanced in the summer of 2009 when they were awarded the research grant "Improved Algorithms for Macromolecular Structure Determination by cryo-EM and NMR" R01GM090200 from the NIH/NIGMS. This award was renewed in 2014, and together with awards from the Simons Foundation and the Moore Foundation to Amit Singer supported undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers at Princeton University who have been involved in the project.
Beyond the regular research activities, we have organized and co-organized several meetings bringing together applied mathematicians and structural biologists:
Mini-conference on structural biology and applied mathematics in Princeton University, August 2-13, 2010. Speakers: A. Singer, Y. Shkolnisky, F. Sigworth, D. Cowburn, B. Chait, R. Hadani, S. Gurevich, R. Basri, Y. Kluger, T. Funkhouser, Y. Lipman.
Two mini-symposia in the SIAM Conference on Imaging Science, Philadelphia, May 20-22, 2012: Three-Dimensional Macromolecular Structure Determination Using Cryo Electron Microscopy - Part I of II.
Three mini-symposia in the SIAM Conference on Imaging Science, Albuquerque, New Mexico May 23-26, 2016: Computational Methods for Cryo-electron Microscopy Single Particle Reconstruction - Part I of III.
Three mini-symposia in the SIAM Conference on Imaging Science, Bologna, Italy, June 5-8, 2018: MS51 - Algorithms for Single Particle Reconstruction in Cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM). (3 parts).
NYC Computational Cryo-EM Workshop, New York, NY, August 8-9, 2019.
(virtual) Three mini-symposia in the SIAM Conference on Imaging Science, Toronto, Canada, July 6-17, 2020: Algorithms for Single Particle Reconstruction in Cryo-Electron Microscopy (3 parts).
The IPAM Long Program on Computational Microscopy (September 12 - December 16, 2022), and, in particular, Workshop III: Cryo-Electron Microscopy and Beyond (November 14-18, 2022).
Amit Singer served as a guest editor of the journal Inverse Problems for its Special Issue on Cryo-Electron Microscopy and Inverse Problems. The special issue was published in 2020 and featured 9 research papers from various research groups.
The results of the project were presented in peer reviewed journals as well as in numerous professional conferences, workshops and seminars. Among them are the 3D EM Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) in 2012, 2017, and 2019, each including an oral presentation by Amit Singer. We would like to thank Professor Joachim Frank for many useful discussions, for providing them with data sets for testing their algorithms, and for co-organizing the stimulating mini-symposiums on computational methods for three-dimensional microscopy reconstruction at nearby Columbia University in the early years of the project.