Karen Davies uses electron cryo-tomography (cryo-ET) and sub-tomogram averaging to determine how the structure and organisation of membrane proteins influences cell morphology and function. Her interest in electron microscopy (EM) developed during her BA degree in biological sciences at Oxford University where she used thin-sectioning EM to determine the ultrastructure of the spider's dragline silk gland. During her PhD, Karen studied biophysics, again at Oxford University, where she determined the structure of proteins using 2D and 3D crystallography. For her postdoc, Karen moved to the MPI of Biophysics in Frankfurt where she learnt the technique of cryo-ET and subtomogram averaging. In 2016, Karen will be starting her own group at the Lawerence Berkeley National labs (LBNL), CA. Her group’s research will focus on understanding how metabolism and changing environmental conditions affect organelle biogenesis.
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