Welcome to the Scheres lab

We are intrigued by how molecular machines perform their complicated tasks in the living cell. Just like machines invented by humans, molecular machines use movements of separate parts in their functioning. Amazingly, rotations, lever or ratchet movements of protein molecules are used in the nano-scale equivalents of water mills (e.g. ATP synthase), fuel-driven motors (e.g. DNA helicases), or even walking legs (e.g. myosin movement along actin filaments).

Our research focusses on the development of methods that allow visualising these molecular machines in their multitude of different conformations. In particular, we use three-dimensional electron microscopy (3D-EM) to determine the structures of molecular machines. Ultimately, one would aim to determine the structure for every conformational intermediate of a molecular machine in action. Combining these snapshots into a 3D movie could then greatly enhance our understanding of how these machines work.

Please browse through these pages to learn more about our research, and how it contributes to a better understanding of the functioning of molecular machines.


Near-atomic ribosome maps

Bai et al. (2013) eLife, 2:e00461

A combination of direct-electron detection and statistical movie processing to compensate for beam-induced movement allows ribosome structures to be determined from cryo-EM data to resolutions that were previously only attainable by X-ray crystallography.

RELION-1.2 released

Click here for more info on RELION.

RELION now comes with statistical movie processing for direct-electron detectors, and with improved postprocessing functionalities. Just download the latest stable version from the RELION wiki following the link above.



MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Room F4
Hills Road
CB2 0QH, Cambridge
United Kingdom
tel: +44 (0)1223 402217