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relion website  

RELION (for REgularised LIkelihood OptimisatioN, pronounce rely-on) is a stand-alone computer program that employs an empirical Bayesian approach to refinement of (multiple) 3D reconstructions or 2D class averages in electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM). It is developed in the group of Sjors Scheres at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Briefly, the ill-posed problem of 3D-reconstruction is regularised by incorporating prior knowledge: the fact that macromolecular structures are smooth, i.e. they have limited power in the Fourier domain. In the corresponding Bayesian framework, many parameters of a statistical model are learned from the data, which leads to objective and high-quality results without the need for user expertise. The underlying theory is given in Scheres (2012) JMB.

Required Modules

Parallel (MPI)

  • gcc/5.2.0
  • openmpi/1.10.2
  • relion

System Variables

  • HPC_RELION_DIR - installation directory

Additional Information


Relion will not open its starting window in a GUI Session if there is no project file in the current working directory. While we verified that both 'launch_gui_session -e relion' and 'launch_relion_session' should overcome this issue if you run into this problem a simple fix to get the initial startup is to copy a sample project file from /apps/relion/conf/ to the current working directory before launching a Relion session.


If you publish research that uses relion you have to cite it as follows:

RELION: Implementation of a Bayesian approach to cryo-EM structure determination