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.


Vlaggen van de Universiteit Utrecht.
21 March 2017
In two short videos, biology researcher Mike Boxem and chemistry researcher Friedrich Förster present the research that earned them their Vici grants
Friedrich Forster
20 February 2017
Friedrich Förster, professor of Cryo-Electron Microscopy, publishes in Nature Communications.
1 July 2016
Researchers have successfully unravelled the structure of a large human proteasome down to the atomic level.