Protein structure determination services

View protein structures at near-atomic resolutions and rapidly expand your structure-based drug target programs via our robust and flexible cryoEM-based workflows. 

Overcome the limitations of traditional approaches 

Understanding the relationship between structure and function for high-value drug targets can provide critical data that ultimately reduces the time and cost investment required to bring a new drug to the clinic.

Those looking to adopt a structure-based approach to drug discovery however face several challenges, including:

  • Traditional structure-determination approaches require comparatively large quantities of pure, stable material
  • Many large and/or dynamic proteins are not amenable to crystallization

  • Unique conformational states may not be tractable in crystal systems not be tractable in crystal systems

Single-particle analysis via cryoEM is fast becoming a standard and critical technique for structure-based drug design

Requiring small sample quantities and no crystallization, pharma and biotech companies are using cryoEM to study targets in their native environment.


As the first and largest CRO services provider to own and operate the necessary hardware and software for full structure enablement, our robust, fully flexible and expertise-driven cryoEM workflow supports the full range of study stages from sample characterization via negative stain through 3D reconstruction, model building and refinement.


As cryoEM specialists, our unique workflows and unrivalled expertise allows us to work with you to process your protein samples and vitrify them for imaging. 


We currently house two Thermo Fisher Scientific Total Krios TEM microscopes equipped with Gatan K3 detectors, Gatan Quantum energy filters, and a Volta Phase plate on Krios1. 

We also house five Thermo Fisher Glacios cryo-TEM microscopes across our three facilities.
  • Installed across our locations to allow for local sample screening, preparation and analysis
  • A high-speed network will connect our facilities and the Krios microscopes for high-resolution data acquisition
We have delivery data for over 200 high-resolution data sets which have structurally enabled drug discovery pipelines for:
  • Integral membrane proteins (including ion channels, transporters, and GPCRs)
  • Large protein complexes
  • Molecular machines & dynamic systems
  • Gene editors
  • Epitopes
  • PROTACs


Our services have been designed to support a full range of projects from early proof-of-concept studies to long term sustainable access to instrumentation and FTE resource, allowing our pharma and biotech clients to rapidly expand their SBDD target enablement programs.

Contact us to get started

At NIS, we’ve created a complete network of resources and a range of services to meet our customers’ specific needs. Contact us today to see how we can help you with your program. 

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  • Han, Y., Reyes, A. A., Malik, S., & He, Y. (2020). Cryo-EM structure of SWI/SNF complex bound to a nucleosome. Nature579(7799), 452–455. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2087-1
  • Kumar, P., Wang, Y., Zhang, Z., Zhao, Z., Cymes, G. D., Tajkhorshid, E., & Grosman, C. (2020). Cryo-EM structures of a lipid-sensitive pentameric ligand-gated ion channel embedded in a phosphatidylcholine only bilayer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America117(3), 1788–1798. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1906823117​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • Kobayashi, K., Shihoya, W., Nishizawa, T., Kadji, F. M. N., Aoki, J., Inoue, A., & Nureki, O. (2020). Cryo-EM structure of the human PAC1 receptor coupled to an engineered heterotrimeric G protein. Nature27(3), 274–280. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41594-020-0386-8