The Sharp lab are interested in the structure-function relationship of our immune system. They have solved numerous structures of immune complexes on synthetic membranes but now turn to imaging them on and inside cells, caught in the act of performing immune defence. However, finding an individual protein inside a human cell is like finding a specific coffee cup hidden somewhere in the LUMC. Sharp and collaborators have developed a technique, called super-resolution cryoCLEM, to narrow this search so that they can image, by high-resolution cryoEM, specific proteins within cells and solve their structures. With this grant, Dr. Sharp will now apply this technique to investigate the molecular details of immune defence.
In November 2020, Dr. Thomas Sharp was awarded €800,000 by the NWO-VIDI to develop new techniques to image our immune system.