A central scientific challenge of our time is to understand the molecular machinery underlying cellular function. This knowledge is needed on the one hand to develop future technology in the hope that we humans can copy some of nature’s design rules, and on the other hand to battle diseases, especially cancer. This challenge requires the development of advanced microscopy techniques.
Our research program aims at finding clues for causes of drug resistance development in cancer, studying membrane protein interactions, and exploring processes of nanomaterials at the solid-liquid interface. For this purpose, we innovate in liquid-phase electron microscopy (LP-EM), 3D scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), and in situ STEM. Our focus is on analyzing membrane protein interactions at the single molecule level within whole cells in hydrated state.
The research is conducted by an interdisciplinary team of (bio)physicists, cell biologists, (bio)chemists, and computer scientists in the group Innovative Electron Microscopy (IEM) at the INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials, in Saarbrücken, Germany. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Niels de Jonge leads the team and is also honorary professor of physics at the Saarland University (UdS).
- Review paper: Liquid-phase electron microscopy for soft matter science and biology. Adv. Mater. 32, 2001582-1-21, 2020. link
- 2019: Research project on gastric cancer starts, funded by the Deutsche Krebshilfe: MetGaP “long-term response in Trastuzumab-treated metastatic gastric- or gastroesophageal junction cancer patients via molecular HER2 surface and pathway analyses”. See projects page.
- 2019: Paper about the spatial- and temporal resolution of LP-EM published in Nat. Mat. Rev.. link