Welcome to the Zhou Lab!
Cellular function depends on the intricate nanoscale organization and precise regulation of multi-protein assemblies, serving as the foundational cornerstone of biological processes. The advent of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has been a significant breakthrough, revolutionizing high-resolution structural biology research. Nevertheless, a formidable challenge persists in comprehending the transient, dynamic, and activity-dependent macromolecular assemblies, which we have named irregular macromolecule assembly, at the molecular resolution.
To confront this daunting task, we have adopted an innovative and interdisciplinary approach. Our methodology integrates cutting-edge structural techniques such as cryogenic electron tomography (cryo-ET) and single-particle cryo-EM, along with protein design & engineering, biochemical methods and functional studies. Through this multidimensional approach, we aim to our aim is to unravel the macromolecular assembly and dynamics at the molecular resolution within the cellular context, effectively bridging the gap between structural biology and cellular/molecular physiology. In doing so, we strive to gain deeper insights into irregular macromolecule assembly and its pivotal role in cellular function, thereby paving the way for novel understandings of complex biological processes.