Integrated Microscopy and Proteomics

Understanding the precise molecular makeup of the intracellular environment.
A scientist is looking at a microscope
Who will benefit
Researchers, research organisations and the biotechnology and imaging and analytics instrumentation industry

The Challenge

Australian researchers have long been trying to understand the precise molecular makeup of the intracellular environment.

The Response

The Integrated Microscopy and Proteomics (IMP) project is using artificial intelligence bioinformatics approaches to seamlessly integrate and interrogate high-resolution imaging data (derived from optical and electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography) with proteomic/genomic data and gene ontology/protein interaction network data. 

The project will enable a new, publicly accessible, national-scale data asset to underpin the integration of molecular imaging with bio-analytics, driving discovery research across the whole of the life sciences. 

The resulting online platform will host the final, released and annotated datasets and permit presentation of the data to the community. 

This work will have immediate application in fields such as drug discovery, infectious diseases and molecular diagnostics.

The project involves the following elements:

  • collection of comprehensive protein and electron microscopy (EM) data across numerous disparate community and facility databases
  • integration of molecular imaging and bio-analytics and application of published approaches – including artificial intelligence tools – to process, segment and label EM tomograms and populate with the appropriate metadata
  • tailored data asset publicly available through a robust resource for multimodal imaging data storage and visualisation, a resource to integrate and visualise omics data with multimodal imaging, and a curated, labelled and FAIR public, web-based repository of data.

Who Will Benefit

The IMP project has immediate application for researchers, research organisations and the biotechnology and imaging and analytics instrumentation industry. 

Researchers, research organisations and the biotechnology and imaging and analytics instrumentation industry will benefit from the project’s core features:

  • research transformation – provide an integrated public resource and analytical capability for life science researchers to elucidate molecular mechanisms and characterise cellular events
  • workflows to drive technology development – the resource will underpin exciting new functionality in the context of imaging (EM and optical microscopy) and mass spectrometry instrumentation, driving widespread adoption of the approach throughout the life sciences
  • industry and societal applications – industry will be able to use in situ approaches to identify protein targets of fluorescently marked therapeutics and develop new functionalities that relate to electron and optical microscopes and mass spectrometers, impacting health and agribusiness.

The Partners

Our partners are: 

  • EMBL Australia
  • Microscopy Australia
  • Bioplatforms Australia
  • Monash University.


The IMP project enables a comprehensive interpretation of cellular cryo-EM data while providing a visual context for cellular analytics. It created a comprehensive collection of imaging and analytics data from a variety of biological samples. With a large enough pool of datasets, it will be possible to analyse the correlation of imaging and analytics across different samples and understand biological processes beyond the point provided by individual studies.

Contact the ARDC

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November 2020 to October 2022

Current Phase


ARDC Co-investment


Project lead

EMBL Australia