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molecular-level imaging of
whole cells

Innovative Electron Microscopy

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, such as cancer, neurological disorders, and virus infections. This challenge requires the development of innovative microscopy techniques.

Our research program aims at developing new scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) techniques for biomedical research. The program includes research on the imaging of biological specimen with liquid-phase electron microscopy (also termed Liquid STEM), 3D STEM, in situ STEM, and aberration corrected STEM. Our focus is on resolving the locations of individual membrane proteins within the context of intact cells.

The research is conducted by an interdisciplinary team of biophysicists, cell biologists, chemists, and computer scientists. Prof. Dr. Niels de Jonge leads the group Innovative Electron Microscopy (IEM) at the INM - Leibniz Institute for New Materials, in Saarbrücken, Germany. He is also honorary professor of physics at the Saarland University (UdS).


Prof. Dr. Niels de Jonge:


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Research group on liquid-phase electron microscopy

Research group of Prof. Niels de Jonge working mostly on liquid-phase electron microscopy at the INM - Leibniz Insitute for New Materials, Saarbrücken, Germany.

Photo © Niels de Jonge, 21.6.2017.


Graphene-covered breast cancer cells are imaged with nanometer resolution in liquid, see Dahmke et al. ACS Nano, early online, 2017. link

Small sub-populations of breast cancer cells were found to respond differently to the prescription drug trastuzumab than bulk cancer cells, see Peckys et al., Mol. Biol. Cell, early online, 2017. link

Research now funded by the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung: "Investigation of the Influence of Breast Cancer Drugs on HER2 Dimerization at the Molecular Level in Individual Cells Aiming to Find Clues for Causes of Drug Resistance: HERe".

Feature about the science of Niels de Jonge at the website of Protochips Inc., NC, USA.

Niels de Jonge was selected as the winner of the Life Sciences Award of the European Microscopy Society, 2016.

Niels de Jonge, Frances M. Ross, and Chongming Wang win the MRS Innovations in Materials Characterization 2016 award for seminal contributions to the imaging of specimens in liquids using transmission electron microscopy, revolutionizing the direct observation of materials processes, batteries during operation and biological structures. See als interview with Frances Ross, Chongmi Wang and Niels de Jonge.

We have discovered a possible reason for drug resistance in breast tumors as published in Science Advances 1, e1500165, 2015 "Local variations of HER2 dimerization in breast cancer cells discovered by correlative fluorescence and liquid electron microscopy" by Diana Peckys, Ulirke Korf & Niels de Jonge. Eureka Alert press release. See also press release of the DKFZ in Heidelberg.



Copyright © 2015 Niels de Jonge, INM - Leibniz Institute for New Materials, Saarland University
Last updated October 18, 2017