Location & dates EMBL Heidelberg, Germany 20 - 25 Oct 2019
Deadlines Application closed

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EMBL Courses and Conferences during the Coronavirus pandemic

With the onsite programme paused, many of our events are now being offered in virtual formats.

Registration is open as usual for many events, with back-up plans in place to move further courses and conferences online as necessary. Registration fees for any events affected by the COVID-19 disruption are fully refundable.

More information for participants of events at EMBL Heidelberg can be found here.

Course Overview

Recent developments in scanning electron microscopes (SEM) have led to ground-breaking opportunities in volume imaging of cells and tissues. The aim of the course is to provide theoretical and practical knowledge on the 3 main techniques for automated serial imaging based on SEM (ASI-SEM): microtome-based serial block-face SEM, focused ion beam SEM and array tomography. At the issue of the course, the participants will be able to assess the potentials of each technique and which fit best to their own scientific project. The participants will acquire the theoretical background to understand the different techniques as well as to optimize the imaging conditions. Data processing, analysis and management will be covered, as they are inherent key considerations to all ASI-SEM techniques. An important fraction of the course will be devoted to hands-on experimentation on i) sample preparation adapted to each ASI-SEM technique ii) operation of the hardware (SEMs, automated microtomes) iii) image processing software (stack registration, segmentation, tracing).

The course will bring together some of the world experts in this new imaging field for biologists. They will share their expertise and trigger a new network of scientists that will together contribute to a better dissemination and use of ASI-SEM.


This course will address a large audience in the life sciences community, in particular (but not exclusively) cell and developmental biology, neurosciences, etc. Participants should preferably have prior experience in cellular electron microscopy, not necessarily in volume EM. The course is open to early career researchers (PhD students and post-docs) as well as facility staff who are starting or intend to start working with volume SEM techniques.


  • Serial Blockface SEM (SBEM)
  • Focused Ion Beam SEM (FIB-SEM)
  • Array Tomography
  • Biological sample preparation
  • Image post-processing, analysis and visualisation

Learning Outcomes

Dissemination of the ASI-SEM techniques across the Life Sciences community. Extensive theoretical and practical knowledge on the main techniques for automated serial imaging based on SEM (ASI-SEM).


EMBL Courses and Conferences are kindly supported by our Corporate Partnership Programme

Founder partners

  • Leica logo
  • Olympus logo

Corporate partners

  • 10x Genomics_120x82
  • Becton Dickinson logo
  • Bio-Rad logo
  • Boehringer Ingelheim logo
  • Eppendorf logo
  • GSK logo
  • Milteniy Biotec logo
  • NetApp logo
  • Stilla logo
  • ThermoFisher logo

Associate partners

  • Merck logo
  • New England Biolabs logo
  • Nikon logo
  • Promega logo
  • Roche logo
  • Sanofi logo
  • Sartorius logo