Molecular Cryo-Electron Microscopy Unit (Matthias Wolf)

Unit Outline

Matthias Wolf

Molecular Cryo-Electron Microscopy Unit

Assistant Professor Matthias Wolf

matthias dot wolf at



We are interested in structure and function of molecular assemblies. We generate three-dimensional reconstructions from single particle images of individual macromolecules obtained by cryo-electron microscopy. The obtainable resolution is determined by sample homogeneity, image quality, specimen thickness, accurate determination of particle orientations, and the number of particle images. Using a systematic approach of biophysical and computational techniques, we aim to improve the current state of the art by novel sample preparation techniques, semi-automatic data collection on a high-end Titan Krios electron microscope and parallel processing of large datasets on the massive OIST compute cluster. Due to their high internal symmetry, an initial emphasis lies on non-enveloped icosahedral viruses. Among others, we will study the conformational changes of the papillomavirus capsid during cell entry at close to atomic resolution. Our ultimate goal is to extend the current method towards near-atomic resolution for objects of lower molecular mass and lower symmetry.