Latest News at the Hafenstein Lab
- Congratulations to Kristin Shingler on the acceptance of her EV71 manuscript to PLOS Pathogens! Click here to see our publications.
- The Hafenstein Lab would like to announce the Grand Opening of the new, Imaging Core for Biological Rresearch. The design and development of the new imaging core was supported by Vice Dean of Research, Daniel Notterman, Penn State College of Medicine. In the new state of the art microscopy suite are three components that will bring high end cryoEM biological structural imaging research to Penn State University. The new lab is contained within a controlled environment to minimize humidity, temperature fluctuation, and acoustic noise. The Cryo JEOL 2100 transmission electron microscope is the cornerstone of the operation capable at running up to 200kV. Coupled with the TEM is a Gatan Ultrascan 4000 4k CCD for collecting high resolution data, and a data processing suite for completing 3D EM maps. Funds to acquire the new CryoEM were awarded by the NIH, Shared Instrumentation Grant to Dr. Hafenstein, Director of the CryoEM Core.
Welcome to the Hafenstein Lab
A structural study offers a powerful tool of direct visualization that can guide and complement other research approaches. Cryo electron microscopy (CryoEM) allows three-dimensional imaging at the subcellular level, filling a gap between the atomic resolution provided by NMR and Xray, and visualization by light microscopy of larger entities such as bacteria, whole cells and organelles.
We use a structural approach to learn more about viral infectivity, tropism, evolution and pathogenicity. Of particular interest are conformational changes of the virus capsid structure that occur as a response to key events that direct a successful infection, such as receptor binding prior to host entry. We are also developing approaches to visualize critical events that cause a break from the regular symmetry of the virus, including packaging of the genome, receptor usage, antibody interactions and uncoating of the viral genome during the final stages of infection.