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Meet the trainers


Dr Rebecca Thompson - Programme Training Director
Deputy Director ABSL EM facility, University of Leeds and Head Research Facilities, Faculty Biological Sciences



I manage our ABSL cryoEM facility at the University of Leeds, and take overall responsibility for the research facilities within the Faculty of Biological Sciences. My cryoEM research interests are around how we can improve sample preparation (particularly interested in air water interface interactions) and protein: membrane interactions. My favourite things to image are ‘non-standard’ sample types that people haven’t tried to image previously. I love training users and opening up cryoEM technology to more researchers, and I am excited to be able to offer courses as part of this program.


Dr Emma Hesketh - Senior Cryo-EM Scientist ABSL EM Facility, University of Leeds




I organise the day to day operation of the EM facility at Leeds including our two Titan Krios electron microscopes. These machines have just been upgraded meaning we have a lot of toys to play with! My main love is cats (and my children) but in the lab I like to work on viruses and try to understand how these fascinating complexes form and encapsulate their genome.


Dr Kyle Morris - eBIC Senior Scientist and Training Coordinator, eBIC, Diamond Light Source, Harwell Research and Innovation Campus



I oversee training programs at eBIC within the Diamond Light Source. I have a particular research interest in protein self-assembly biology and a background in single particle analysis by cryo-EM, but recently I’ve been working on cellular imaging using EM in a variety of areas. My favourite thing in cryo-EM is cracking an analysis problem, but most things that requires a bit of computational gymnastics are fun! I enjoy the refinement of processes that naturally happens when we tackle training others in them and am motivated to help equip scientists to use cryo-EM in their research, so am excited to be part of this program.


Dr Daniel K. Clarke - Principal EM Scientist at eBIC and Diamond



I am currently one of the principal EM scientists at eBIC and co-manage a large international user program on the microscopes at Diamond light source. I have been doing cryo-EM for a while now… I started with poorly-ordered membrane protein 2D-crystals and from there graduated to large ‘soluble’ molecular chaperones. Most of my experience in cryo-EM was gained at Birkbeck College, and I was the student that never left. In my latter years at Birkbeck I took on the role of training new users on the Polara microscope and was also heavily involved in the selection and commissioning of the new direct electron detectors they acquired. I have also been involved with all of the EMBO image processing course run at Birkbeck and have either given a talk or helped with the practical sessions. I look forward to meeting you on one of the courses soon.


Dr Natasha Lukoyanova - EM Facility Coordinator, Birkbeck College, University of London.



I manage the ISMB Birkbeck EM facility in London. We provide training, access to EM equipment and services for structural biologists from UCL and Birkbeck. I am interested in the optimisation of EM sample preparation and data collection, with cellular samples being my personal favourite.


Dr Christos Savva - Cryo-EM facility manager at the University of Leicester




I manage the Cryo-EM facility at the University of Leicester which is part of the Midlands Regional Cryo-EM consortium which includes the Universities of Birmingham, Warwick and Nottingham. I started doing EM as an undergrad and still get excited when I see a new sample for the first time using the electron microscope. I am interested in membrane protein structures and particularly in a family called the pore-forming proteins. I am thrilled to be a training leader on this programme and showing new users how to use the Titan Krios located at the Leicester Institute of Structural and Chemical Biology (


Dr James Streetley - SCMI Facility Manager, Scottish Centre for Macromolecular Imaging, University of Glasgow



I manage the Scottish Centre for Macromolecular Imaging, a cryo-EM facility based at the University of Glasgow but formed by partners in the Universities of Edinburgh, Dundee and St Andrews, and open to the wider Scottish structural biology community. My favourite thing to image is the thin edge of the cell; it’s like looking at a cell biology textbook, pointing out the mitochondria, ribosomes, actin, microtubules. It’s hard to keep focussed on the object of interest and not get carried away by everything thing else.
Otherwise, I enjoy all kinds of problem solving, be it fault finding with engineers or working out how to implement the latest techniques on our machines for our users to start experimenting with.

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