Bio-X SIGF Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2018
Home Department: Chemistry
Faculty Advisors: W. E. Moerner (Chemistry) and Wah Chiu (Photon Science Directorate, Bioengineering, and Microbiology & Immunology)

Research Title: Developing Correlative Cryogenic Superresolution Light and Electron Microscopy with Applications to the Study of Protein Aggregates in Neurological Disease

Research Description: Although the genetic cause of aggregation of misfolded protein speciesPhoto of graduate student Annina Sartor in the lab, wearing red-lensed safety goggles, sitting at a computer in front of a laser apparatus. in Huntington’s disease (HD) has been identified, the exact mechanism of this aggregation and its impact on disease states is still unknown. Annina will develop a new technique combining super-resolution microscopy with cryogenic electron tomography (cryoET). This correlative technique will enable her to study structural information on samples such as protein aggregates found in HD pathogenesis in their native state without chemical fixation artifacts. This project integrates the fields of single-molecule optical super-resolution microscopy with cryo-electron microscopy and biological expertise on protein aggregation in HD.