Erin Tranfield awarded the Alan Agar Award for Electron Microscopy

The aim of the award is to celebrate and mark outstanding contributions to electron microscopy in the field of physical or life sciences.
29 sep 2022

Erin Tranfield, Head of the Electron Microscopy Unit at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, received the award in recognition of her research and development in advanced electron microscopy, and additionally, for the creation of the TechEM Seminar Series during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling much-needed networking, training and development opportunities for the global EM Community. 

Erin completed her PhD in 2007 at the University of British Columbia in Canada and conducted postdoctoral research at the NASA Ames Research Centre in the USA studying lunar dust, and in the Cell Biology and Biophysics Lab at EMBL in Heidelberg studying the frog spindle using electron tomography. Specialising in electron tomography, cryofixation and correlative light and electron microscopy, Erin has supported numerous researchers with advanced imaging in fields as diverse as cell biology, pathogens, neuroscience and cancer. Erin is also active in multiple learned societies, networks, conferences and training courses. 

 It was during the first lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic, that Erin realized that much of the international EM community was operating in isolation, whether working from home, responding to the needs of researchers working on SARS-CoV-2, or working on experiments that could not be stopped despite the pandemic. 

Erin quickly established the TechEM online seminar series, with the idea of inviting EM specialists to give talks about their real hands-on experience of EM techniques and technologies. The seminars filled a crucial gap in the provision of networking and training for the global EM community, and the seminar series attendance quickly grew, with many of the talks attracting around 100 people. 

Through the TechEM seminar series, Erin has made a huge impact on the EM community, creating international networks and transfer of knowledge between different disciplines that has, and will, reach beyond the pandemic. 

Congratulations to Erin for the award and recognition of her efforts.  

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