Imaging the Coronavirus: inverse problems in electron tomography

Thursday 7 May 2020

14.00 - 16.30 BST


This event may result in a regular seminar, more information will be shared after the first event.

Inverse problems in electron imaging and tomography of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

Electron microscope tomography of viruses is a challenging area of inverse problems and coronaviruses pose a particular problem in that the virus particles are neither symmetrical nor identical. For identical particles "single particle" imaging techniques can be used in which one projection image is treated as a collection of random tomographic projections. Electron tomography, with its limited angle and dose, lacks the resolution to image some important features of a virus. We hope to stimulate the tomographic reconstruction, Bayesian inverse problems and machine learning communities to come together to see if we can improve 3D imaging of coronaviruses in the hope that it is help in developing vaccines and treatments for Covid-19 and in the longer term other viral diseases.

Chaired by William Lionheart, University of Manchester Todd Quinto, Robinson Professor of Mathematics, Tufts University, Medford

14.00-14.30 Alan Roseman, University of Manchester Introduction to electron imaging and the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

Slides are available here.

14.30-15.15 Ozan Oktem, KTH Royal Institute of Technology Inverse problems and electron tomography

Slides are available here.

15:15–15:45 Discussion: how can the inverse problems community help?

15:45–16:15 Breakout rooms available


The recording from this seminar is available here.


Zoom is the online platform being used to deliver this seminar series. Any questions relating to the seminar, please contact

This seminar series is supported as part of the ICMS/INI Online Mathematical Sciences Seminars.