Wanda Kukulski studied biology II at the University of Basel, where she also obtained her PhD in 2006. During her PhD she learned electron microscopy and biochemistry of membrane proteins. Wanda’s research led to the structure of a plant water channel determined by electron crystallography. In 2008 Wanda moved to the EMBL in Heidelberg for an interdisciplinary postdoc, which allowed her to learn cell biology and electron tomography. During this time, Wanda and colleagues developed a correlative light and electron microscopy method and applied it to study the reshaping of the plasma membrane during formation of endocytic vesicles. In 2015 Wanda became a group leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge where she pursued her interest in cellular membrane architectures. Her group began working on mitochondrial membrane dynamics and on contact sites between organelles. They also started using electron cryo-tomography of cells to directly visualise proteins associated with cellular membranes. Wanda was selected for the EMBO young investigator programme in 2019. Since 2020, she is a professor in biochemistry at the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine of the University of Bern. Wanda aims to understand how the molecular architecture of membranes contributes to cellular functions. A major current research focus of her group is the transfer of lipid molecules at organelle contact sites.
Function in NCCR
- Principal Investigator (PI)