My lab focusses on developing bionanotechnology to understand and exploit the human innate immune system. Protein nanopatterns are essential for cellular function, and recent research indicates that our immune system is activated by nanopatterned antibody platforms. We are using DNA nanotechnology to determine structure-function relationships between antigen nanopatterns and immune system activation, and developing methods to exploit this activation.
Visualizing complement activation in the act
Using state of the art phase-plate electron cryo-tomography we are solving various structures of the complement pathway in the act of activating our immune system, including antibody-mediated complement initiation and the mechanism, of cellular lysis by stepwise pore-formation.
In collaboration with the Koster lab, we are also working to combine the burgeoning fields of super-resolution light microscopy with cryoEM to achieve high-accuracy localization of tagged proteins within samples prepared for cryoEM. This will allow us to perform structural biology on individual proteins within cells.