Elizabeth Villa (UCSD)

Opening Windows into the Cell: Bringing Structure to Cell Biology with Cryo- Electron Tomography
Nov 28, 2018, 12:00 pm1:00 pm
Thomas Laboratory, 003
Free and open to the university community and the public.


Elizabeth Villa/
Assistant Professor
University of California, San Diego
Dept of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Event Description
To perform their function, biological systems need to operate across multiple scales. Current techniques in structural and cellular biology lack either the resolution or the context to observe the structure of individual biomolecules in their natural environment, and are often hindered by artifacts. Our goal is to build tools that can reveal molecular structures in their native cellular environment. Using the power of cryo-electron tomography (CET) to image biomolecules at molecular resolution in situ, we are building tools to make compatible with, and directly comparable to, biophysical and cell biology experiments, capturing the structural behavior of macromolecules in action under controlled conditions. I will show how we used these techniques to reveal the structure of LRRK2, the greatest known genetic contributor to Parkinson’s disease, and to reveal the molecular architecture of bacterial cells. 
Sabine Petry, Department of Molecular Biology
Event Category
Butler Seminar Series