Cryo-electron microscopy

Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is a key imaging modality for studying the structures of macromolecular complexes in their physiological environment. In the cryo-EM group we aim at a structural understanding of processes associated with cellular membranes. To this end we make use of single particle cryo-EM and in particular cryo-electron tomography (ET) approaches. While single particle cryo-EM is an excellent approach to study isolated complexes at near-atomic resolution, cryo-ET allows imaging complexes in their native settings, such as organelle and plasma membrane. We actively develop methodology for in situ structural biology and apply it to understand processes such as membrane-associated protein biogenesis and host-pathogen interactions.


H.R. Kruytbuilding
Padualaan 8
3584 CH Utrecht
The Netherlands

Phone: +31 30 253 3502



We aim at a structural understanding of processes at native cellular membranes
Friedrich Foerster
Friedrich Förster
Professor of Cryo-electron microscopy
The inside of a cell - in 3D
Ribosomes associated to the membranes of Endoplasmic Reticulum and nuclear envelope in a cell.

Using advanced microscopy approaches we visualize biochemical processes at cellular membranes.


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29 January 2019
NWO has awarded a research grant to a collaboration between researchers from Utrecht and Wageningen and industry.
12 December 2018
The 3D-buildup has been identified of the enzyme that protects us against nerve gas, drugs and obesity. It will finally make production in the lab possible.
Three-dimensional structure of the OST-containing ribosome-translocon complex
28 March 2018
A study of Friedrich Förster and colleagues published in Science, explains how protein transport and glycosylation are coupled mechanistically




15 April 2019 08:30 - 18:00
The Bijvoet Symposium 2019 of the Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research will take place on April 15, 2019.
16 April 2019 12:00 - 21:00
The Graduate School of Life Sciences and the PhD Council present this interactive day of lectures and workshops for all GS-LS PhD candidates.
16 April 2019 14:30 - 15:30
PhD defence of Tania Morán Luengo