Alexey Amunts

Alexey Amunts
Stockholm University

Science Magazine

Research Interests

Using cryo-EM to visualize macromolecules at atomic resolution.

The most definitive way to understand molecular mechanisms of a living cell is to directly visualize its components by obtaining their 3D structures. Beyond basic science, structural information on molecules is essential for drug design and optimization of therapeutic compounds. Recent advances in Electron Cryo-Microscopy (cryo-EM) have made it now possible to determine otherwise intractable macro-molecular complexes including membrane proteins at near atomic resolution.

Our group further explores the frontiers of the cryo-EM methodology to visualize macromolecules that play key roles in fundamental and medically relevant cellular processes. The lab benefits from the state-of-the-art cryo-EM equipment, including Titan Krios and Talos Arctica armed with the latest generation direct electron detectors, modern computational infrastructure and skilled microscopists.

We are interested in complex questions and technically challenging subjects, for which the molecular mechanisms and dynamics have been least understood. One of the ongoing projects is to characterize the entire mechanism of protein synthesis in mitochondria. We also focus on membrane proteins and bioenergetics related complexes, where intrinsic flexibility and dynamic properties underlie functional characteristics. To realize these proposals, we use a combination of genetic and biochemical methods, while simultaneously developing new methods for direct visualization of molecules in its close to native environment.

Alexey gorup new 2016


Group members

Shintaro Aibara, Postdoc
Juni Andréll, Researcher
Narges Mortezaei, Researcher
Alexander Muehleip, Postdoc
Laura Orellana, Postdoc
Annemarie Perez Boerema, Student
Victor Tobiasson, Student

Key publications

Amunts, A., Brown, A., Toots, J., Scheres, S. H. & Ramakrishnan, V. (2015). The structure of the human mitochondrial ribosome. Science 348, 95-98.

Amunts, A., Brown, A., Bai, X., Llácer, J., Hussain, T., Emsley, P., Scheres, S.H. & Ramakrishnan, V. (2014). Structure of the yeast mitochondrial large ribosomal subunit. Science 343, 1485-1489.

Work opportunities

We offer PhD and Postdoc positions as well as short training projects for highly motivated researchers. The lab provides stimulating and collegial environment for people who want to study something important, work hard and aim high.

– You will be tackling a difficult subject, you are genuinely interested in and enjoying working on.

– You will be offered ample resources, long-term support and collaborations.

– You will be expected to show determination, be proactive, creative and preferably nice to your colleagues.

Structural Biology discussion group

Every Thursday at 9.30, in SciLifeLab Becquerel room, we gather a discussion group to better understand what is the current practice of cryo-EM, present the most recent developments and applications to interesting biological problems.

Everyone is welcome!