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Session I : January 18, 2024, 9 AM EDT
EM Core Management, Remote Demo & Training
Open Discussion Forum  

Click on the link below to download BioEMTalks Session I recordings 


Kirk Czymmek

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Kirk was an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Delaware (UD) where he worked to build an imaging capacity that led in 2001 to the creation of the UD Bio-Imaging Center at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, where he served as Director until 2012. He then joined ZEISS and served as Vice President of Global ZEISS Microscopy Customer Centers and built a world-class application, demonstration, and training center for the ZEISS microscopy portfolio for North America. In 2019, Kirk joined the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center as a principal investigator and director of the Advanced Bioimaging Laboratory Facility. His research today focuses on small microbes that cause disease in both humans and plants.


Michael Kostrna



Michael was the Director of the Electron Microscopy Technician program at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, WI, Instructor at the Microscopy Academy at EMS in Philadelphia, PA and Instructor at San Jaocin Delta College. He has more than 35 years in EM technical education and research experience and has developed curricula and lab exercises for TEM, SEM, OLM, lab safety, introductory and advanced biological EM, EM maintenance, and x-Ray microanalysis. He has worked with companies such as SC Johnson Polymer, Dow Chemicals, Io Genetics, Virent Technologies, ABS Global and  NanoOnocology, and in the process gained insight to the various applications of EM.

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Natalia de Val

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Dr. de Val is a Biochemist/Protein engineering specialist, with more than 15-year experience in single particle Cryo-Electron Microscopy, as well as immunogenic design efforts for vaccine achievement. she played a key role in ground-breaking studies at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla (CA, USA) defining the structure of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein complex bound to neutralizing antibodies. This work used cryo-EM to provide important insights into HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein. During this time, she also contributed to structural analysis of the Ebola virus glycoprotein.

She then  served as Principal Scientist at NanoImaging Services Inc., working with Dr. Bridget Carragher  leading  cryo-EM studies for numerous clients, including pharmaceutical companies.  In October 2017 she joined NCI as the Director of the Electron Microscopy Laboratory (EML) and the Team Lead for the Cryo-Electron Microscopy section at the Center for Molecular Microscopy (CMM), she was responsible for the management of a wide portfolio of projects related mainly to cancer and HIV diseases. Natalia is currently a Senior Scientist, Senior Product Specialist for Electron Microscopy for Thermo Fisher Scientific supporting Electron Microscopy in the East Coast and Midwest, US.


Mary  Ard

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Mary Ard is currently the EM Lab Coordinator for the Georgia Electron Microscopy core facility at the University of Georgia.  Mary has worked in the field of electron microscopy for 30+ years assisting pathologists, graduate students, and other clients with their diagnostic work and research projects in the veterinary field.  She is board certified as a Histological Technician with the American Society for Clinical Pathologists (ASCP), and has worked in the field of Histology for 6 years before getting EM exposure at UGA.  Mary has been a member of both MSA and SouthEastern Microscopy Society (SEMS) since 1997and she has held multiple leadership roles in SEMS.  Mary worked alongside Beth Richardson and John Shields for many years and assisted in the running and teaching for the EM Workshops until her close colleagues decided to retire from the university in 2020 and in 2023.  Now all the biological realm of EM is the primary focus for Mary as she provides EM services for a wide range of specimens and learning opportunities to the university communities as well as outside clients from across the nation.


Ru-ching Hsia



Dr. Hsia is the Principal Scientist and Head of the Electron Microscope Laboratory at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research.  She was the Director of the EM research services facilities at the University of Maryland Baltimore and Carnegie Institution for Science before she joined FNL.  Dr. Hsia was the Program Chair of M&M2023 in Minneapolis.  She has many years of experience running EM techniques workshops, training courses and organizing symposia.

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