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 uth.tmc.edu

 The LIU lab

Our laboratory is interested in 3-D structure/function of molecular machines in cells. We develope two model systems (Lyme disease spirochete and E. coli minicell) to study the molecular basis of bacterial motility, signal transduction, and bacteriophage infection. In particular, a high-throughput cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) system has been developed to visualize the key molecular machines that orchestrate those processes at nanometer level.

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. We develop a high-throughput cryo-ET pipeline, which provides unparalleled opportunities for visualizing the molecular machines in cells. 

journal covers

Contact

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.