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Joint Challenges Wrap-Up Meeting Oct 6-8

In 2016 EMDataBank ran two community challenges in parallel to create awareness of the need for cryoEM structure validation as a routine process in research studies and publications, and to expedite development of quantitative tools for assessment. The Map and Model Challenges were developed by cryoEM and modeling community experts, respectively, who have been charged with developing challenge tasks, promoting worldwide participation, evaluating the results, and producing a report. In each case, benchmark datasets (i.e. raw single particle images and 3D density maps) have been assembled for molecular machines of varying size and complexity, based on current state-of-the-art detectors and processing methods, in the resolution range 2-5 Å. Challenge tasks are designed to be suitable for all levels of expertise.

The cryoEM and modelling scientific communities have responded enthusiastically : a grand total of 83 scientists have participated as committee members, challengers, and/or assessors. There were 66 submissions to the Map Challenge, and 107 submissions to the Model Challenge, each with supporting details about workflow from benchmark data to final result. Analyses of all of these depositions is now nearing completion, making use of both currently available as well as novel procedures, conducted by volunteers and experts.

In order to share and fully explore the results and analyses of both challenges with the community, we plan to hold a joint Challenges Wrap-Up Workshop October 6-8, 2017 at the Conference Center of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Menlo Park, California. We are inviting all of the participants from both challenges to present and discuss their findings, providing a unique opportunity for two somewhat separate communities (3DEM reconstruction and molecular modelling) to come together to review the challenge results, to address the need for robust validation procedures for maps and models, and to make recommendations for future challenge events for increasingly complex data with high compositional and/or conformational heterogeneity.  

The format of the meeting is to have the first day devoted to density map generation from raw single particle images and the second day devoted to modeling from 3D density maps. Each of these two sessions will have presentations from assessors and challengers on their chosen computational approaches and their rationales of adoptions. The session discussion leaders will be drawn from our Committee experts. The third day will be devoted to the necessary metrics of cryoEM structure validation report for structures archived in EMDB and PDB, discucssion on integration of map and model validation, and possible topics and formats for future challenge events. After the workshop, we plan to organize a journal special issue that will be contributed by the assessors and challengers so that the outcomes will be disseminated freely to the entire scientific community.

If you are interested, please join us! The workshop registration site is here:



EMDataBank Validation Challenges are supported by NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Please send your challenge questions, comments and feedback to

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