Faculty of Biological Sciences

Staff at the Astbury Biostructure Laboratory

Dr Neil Ranson, Director of Electron microscopy
As Director of Electron microscopy at the Astbury Biostructure Laboratory, I’m responsible for the Academic leadership of the Facility, and am here to help with advice about all aspects of cryo-electron microscopy, from imaging and structure determination, to funding and costs. My laboratory is interested in the structures of macromolecular complexes and how conformational change drives biological function. There are currently projects ranging from large icosahedral (and pleomorphic) viruses, through amyloid protein aggregates to small membrane proteins.

 

Dr Emma Hesketh, Cryo-electron Microscopy Support Scientist

I am responsible for the day-to-day operation of our Titan Krios electron microscopes optimised for cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). My role includes providing guidance, training and advice to users (both internal and external) in areas covering sample preparation, optimisation, freezing, and image optimisation, using both single particle and tomographic methods. My main research focus is in structural virology. I use cryoEM and image processing methods to produce 3D structures of viruses.

 

Dr Rebecca Thompson, Facility manager/Senior Cryo-Electron Microscopy Support Scientist

I am responsible for the management of the electron microscopy facility, and my role is to help researchers from accross the University to access the equipment we have within the facility.

Martin Fuller, Electron Microscopy Technician

My role is to help run the EM facility here at Leeds, supporting all users of the equipment in the facility. I train users in ambient transmission electron microscopy, as well as SEM. I can also help train users to prepare their samples by negative staining, and prepare embedded and sectioned material for ambient transmission electron microscopy, as well as sample preparation for scanning electron microscopy (SEM), cryo-SEM and environmental SEM.

 

Dr Stephen Muench

My group are interested in using EM in combination with X-ray crystallography and biochemical analysis to resolve the structure and mechanism of protein complexes, in particular membrane proteins. More recently we have been using EM to characterise small molecule binding and developing it as a tool for rational drug design. We work on a number of systems including the vacuolar ATPase, ion channels and membrane transporters.

Dr Juan Fontana

The research in my lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of the entry, replication and morphogenesis of enveloped viruses. Our approach is mainly based on electron microscopy techniques, like cellular electron-microscopy, cryo-electron microscopy/tomography and subtomogram averaging. These techniques are combined with other structural and biochemical approaches.