The research focus of my lab is on molecular electron microscopy (EM), and high-resolution single-particle cryo-EM in particular. Our goal is to advance molecular EM imaging towards higher resolution and apply EM to molecular and cellular structure elucidation. The research in my lab comprises three complementary topics:
High-Quality EM Data Acquisition
Obtaining high-quality EM images is the starting point to achieve better resolution in 3D reconstruction. We have been developing novel imaging techniques to reduce beam-induced specimen damage and movement, to expedite the RCT data collection, and to enable "big data" (terabytes) acquisition and management.
High-Resolution EM Image Analysis
Intrinsically, molecular cryo-EM images contain high noise. In order to retrieve the maximal amount of information from "an ocean of noise", we have been developing image processing algorithms on the PARTICLE platform for single-particle EM data analysis, from DDD-frame registration, particle screening, image CTF determination, particle 2D classification, to 3D model reconstruction and validation.
EM Structural Biology
"Seeing is believing." Utilizing high-resolution EM imaging and 3D reconstruction, my lab has been investigating the structural detail of membrane-protein assemblies including the KATP and CFTR ion channels.