visualizing molecular machines in cells 

Electron Tomography at ut houston

Jun Liu, Ph.D.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Univ. of Texas - Houston Medical School

6431 Fannin, MSB 2.228

Houston, Texas 77030

Phone: 713-500-5342

Email: jun.liu.1 AT

 The LIU lab

Our laboratory is dedicated to developing a high-throughput cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) pipeline for high-resolution structure determination of molecular machines in cells. Our state-of-the-art imaging system has been utilized to gain molecular insights into fundamental biochemical processes: bacterial motility, chemotactic signaling, protein secretion, and DNA translocation. 

High-throughput Cyro-electron tomography (cryo-et)

Cryo-Electron Tomography (cryo-ET) is one of the most exciting technologies to determine 3-D architecture of molecular machines in situ at molecular level. Our high-throughput cryo-ET pipeline provides unparalleled opportunities for visualizing the molecular machines in cells. 

journal covers


Cryo-ET Facility at UT Houston

We have a 300 kV Liquid Nitrogen cooled field-emission gun cryo-electron microscope (FEI Polara) and Tietz F415SP 4k x 4k CCD camera at UT Houston. This cutting-edge cryo-EM facility supports multiple NIH funded projects. In 2013, we got a Shared Instrumentation Grant from NIH and replaced our CCD camera with a new generation direct electron detector (Gatan K2 Summit). Together with advanced tomography packages (UCSF TOMO, IMOD, RAPTOR and Protomo) implemented, our system is able to achieve higher throughput and resolution. 

Our Inspiration

Louis Armstrong: "What a Wonderful World".

Apple's think different commercial "Here's to the Crazy Ones".

Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish".

​Charles Darwin: "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."

(Supported by NIH/NIAID/NIGMS and Welch Foundation)

Postdoctoral Position available

Interested candidate should have a Ph.D. in microbiology, biophysics or a related field. Please contact Dr. Liu along with CV, statement of research interests, and contact information for three references.

Grant Supports

We are very grateful that our research projects are supported by NIH, NIAID, NIGMS, and Welch Foundation.