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Henning Stahlberg

Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is a method that uses rapidly frozen thin layers of suspensions of a protein solution, and images this an electron microscope at liquid-nitrogen temperature. The Stahlberg group in Lausanne at the University of Lausanne and the EPFL uses cryo-EM to study the structure of membrane proteins. This is typically done by detergent-solubilization of overexpressed membrane proteins, biochemical purification of the membrane proteins in detergent, followed by forming a 50nm to 100nm thin layer of the protein suspension over a fenestrated carbon film, which is quick-frozen to liquid nitrogen temperature. This results in a thin, free-standing film of vitrified membrane protein solution, in which the protein is frozen but the water has not formed ice crystals. These samples are then imaged in a high-end cryo-EM instrument.

The Stahlberg group operates own electron microscopes for the purpose of advancing the method of cryo-EM. These include a 300kV Titan Krios prototype and a 200kV Talos. Stahlberg also directs the Dubochet Center for Imaging (DCI) in Lausanne, which is a common initiative of the EPFL, the University of Lausanne and the University of Geneva. The DCI operates several high-end cryo-EM instruments, including two Titan Krios with frontier features, such as cold-FEG electron sources and latest energy filtration and detector configuration. These instruments are used to automatically record image data in form of dose-fractionated image frames (i.e., movies), of the frozen membrane protein particles.

Frames in movies are motion-corrected to compensate electron-beam induced sample movement. Particle images are extracted from the large movies, and submitted to computational image processing, resulting in the high-resolution 3D structure of the membrane proteins.

Stahlberg has a dual professorship affiliation as full professor at EPFL and at University of Lausanne.

 

Personal Website:
Stahlberg Group

E-Mail:
henning.stahlberg@epfl.ch

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Function in NCCR

  • Principal Investigator (PI)

Intern/Extern: Intern

Projects

2021-now
Dual professorship at the EPFL and the University of Lausanne, Director of the Dubochet Center for Imaging of the EPFL, University of Lausanne and the University of Geneva.

2009-2020 
Professor at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, Director of the Center for Cellular Imaging and Nano Analytics (C-CINA) of the University of Basel

Education

  • PD (Habilitation) in Biophysics at the University of Basel
  • Ph.D. in Structural Biology at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale, Lausanne
  • M.Sc. in Physics at the Technical University of Berlin

Selected memberships

  • Swiss Society for Optics and Microscopy (SSOM)
  • German Physical Society (1989-1994)

Selected awards

  • W.M.Keck Award (2009)
  • UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellow Award (2008-2012)
  • NSF CAREER award (2005)