Our research focuses on cryo-electron microscopy
and 3-D reconstruction of large macromolecular assemblies
and cellular structures, whenever possible in vivo.
In the past structural biology was often confined to in
vitro approaches, thereby reducing a complex biological
system to a very limited problem.
While this will certainly still be the case
for sometime while generating atomic-resolution data such
as X-ray, electron crystallography or NMR spectroscopy; cryo-electron
microscopy in combination with tomographic 3D reconstruction
approaches clearly has the potential to investigate cellular
structures in vivo.
This resolution of 2-3 nm detail, although
not atomic, will allow recognition within single protein domains
in the context of larger macromolecular assemblies and cellular
organelles directly in the cell.
With expertise in microtubule structures and
microtubule associated proteins (MAPS), and molecular motors
of the Dynein and Kinesin families, we will use a correlative
microscopy approach for high-resolution studies on various
dynamic aspects in cells such as cell division and intracellular
In addition to focusing on microtubule structures
the lab will investigate the regulation of the entire cytoskeleton,
and in particular the functional connections between microtubules,
actin and intermediate filament structures in an intact cell.