Working at an electron microscope

Oxford Particle Imaging Centre (OPIC) is located in the Henry Wellcome Building for Particle Imaging and forms part of the Division of Structural Biology (STRUBI) within the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine.

The biosafety containment facility allows scientists to study pathogenic human and animal viruses, using a range of imaging, structural biology and biophysical techniques.

Research highlights

Liljeroos et al. (2011) Electron cryotomography of measles virus reveals how matrix protein coats the ribonucleocapsid within intact virions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108(44):18085-90.

Ziółkowska et al. (2011) Eisosome-driven plasma membrane organization is mediated by BAR domains. Nat Struct Mol Biol 18(7):854-6.

Avinoam et al. (2011) Conserved eukaryotic fusogens can fuse viral envelopes to cells. Science 332(6029):589-92.


Feb 2013 18-22 Feb 2013: OPIC is organising a course "Transmission Electron Microscopy In Structural Biology" for students in the Wellcome Trust DPhil Programme in Structural Biology.

Jan 2013 Kay Grünewald has been appointed Professor of Structural Cell Biology.

Jun 2012 Drs. Juha Huiskonen and Thomas Bowden have been awarded a three-year MRC grant to study severe hemorrhagic fever causing viruses.

OPIC in a nutshell

  • Biosafety containment (ACDP3/DEFRA4)
  • Electron cryo-microscopy and tomography
  • Live cell imaging
  • Contained crystallization
  • Biophysical characterization
  • Cell culture


  • Jsubtomo - package for sub-tomogram alignment and averaging

Where next?


Division of Structural Biology

Oxford Protein Production Facility UK

Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine

Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics