Research in the Chiu lab involves the following area:
Electron Cryomicroscopy of Biological Nanomachines
Our research interests are to determine 3-dimensional structures of biological nanomachines by electron cryomicroscopy and computer reconstruction and to relate the structures to their functional mechanisms. Our structural technique complements to those of X ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. Our laboratory is uniquely equipped with four intermediate voltage electron cryomicroscopes and supercomputer.
Our laboratory has pioneered various experimental and computational methods in biological cryo-EM. We have determined cryo-EM structures of biological bundle, ion channel, viruses and chaperonins at unprecedented resolutions. Our group has recently achieved the capability of tracing Ca backbone of protein components in several large molecular nanomachines using single particle cryo-EM without the aid of crystallography. Many of our structural investigations have produced not only novel structural informatics but also insightful functional mechanisms on protein folding and virus infection respectively.