Infobase: Projects

 

What do nanomitochondria do?

Reduced mitochondria called mitosomes occur in several single-celled human parasites. Mitosomes do not make ATP and we are addressing the key questions of what they do in cells and how they grow and divide.

Trachipleistophora hominis mitosomes

 

How parasites build a nanosyringe to inject themselves into cells

Microsporidia are eukaryotic parasites that live inside cells and cause disease in patients with AIDS. Infection uses a nanosyringe that penetrates the membrane of the host cell. Our long-term aim is to identify key steps in the assembly processes that might inform the search for better drugs against microsporidia infection.

Polar tube

 

Nanotracing of membrane lipids

Notoriously difficult to study by EM, we found ways of localizing lipids in membranes. We are currently exploring new methods for localizing lipids in membranes of rapidly frozen cells.

 

Nanoscale amounts from thin slices

Stereology and quantitative immuno-EM are the gold standards for quantifying structures and studying the distribution of proteins and lipids in cells. We are developing new approaches.

Immunogold

 

Can machines help quantify at the electron microscope level?

Experts are needed to recognize cell structures in EM. To bypass this roadblock and speed up the process we are developing ways for machines to recognise and quantify cell structures.