Imaging ONEWORLD - 'Cryo Super-Resolution Fluorescence Microscopy for Correlation with Cryo-EM' - Professor Rainer Kaufmann

12 July 2021


RMS Hosted Event

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This week will feature Professor Rainer Kaufmann, University of Hamburg

Scientific Organisers: Stefanie Reichelt, Alex Sossick, Nick Barry, Alessandro Esposito and Kirti Prakash

The meeting will begin at 1pm BST.

As part of the 'Imaging ONEWORLD' series, the focus of these lectures is on microscopy and image analysis methods and how to apply these to your research. Almost all aspects of imaging such as sample preparation, labelling strategies, experimental workflows, ‘how-to’ image and analyse, as well as facilitating collaborations and inspiring new scientific ideas will be covered. Speakers will be available for questions and answers. The organisers, CRUK CI core facility staff, Gurdon Institute, MRC-LMB, MRC Cancer Unit and NPL will be able to continue the discussion and provide advice on your imaging projects.


  • Professor Rainer Kaufmann

    Rainer Kaufmann is a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Hamburg and a group leader at the Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB). He gained his PhD in Physics from the University of Heidelberg developing single molecule based super-resolution fluorescence microscopy methods. Afterwards he spent 6 years as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Oxford, with a focus on combining super-resolution fluorescence microscopy with electron microscopy. He set up is lab in 2017 at the CSSB in Hamburg with a Freigeist-Fellowship of the Volkswagen-Foundation. His current research focuses on the development of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy under cryogenic conditions and its combination with cryo electron microscopy.

Speaker's Abstract

Super-resolution methods present a true game changer for the field of correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM). They allow bridging the big resolution gap between conventional fluorescence microscopy (FM) and electron microscopy (EM). Cryo-immobilization by fast-freezing techniques has been introduced to allow imaging in vitreous (glass-like) biological samples with superior structural preservation. On the one side, cryo-EM has evolved into a routine method for structural biology. Particularly cryo electron tomography offers insights into intact cells at unprecedented resolution. On the other side, super-resolution FM under cryo-conditions is still at a very early and experimental stage. However, the combination of both cryo-microscopy methods has great potential to open up a wide range of new application possibilities in structural and cellular biology. One of the major obstacles for the successful implementation of super-resolution cryo-CLEM is the risk of devitrification of the sample during super-resolution data acquisition. Typically, relatively high laser intensities are required for the photo-switching of fluorescent molecules to achieve a resolution improvement. In my talk, I will discuss the challenges, current solutions and prospects of super-resolution cryo-CLEM.

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