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Research line 1

Nanoscopy

The M4I Division of Nanoscopy, under the supervision of university professor Peter Peters, investigates cell structures at a macromolecular level. Inside cells, proteins work together in complex structures and are responsible for virtually all processes in the human body, including diseases such as cancer. To understand the working mechanisms of protein complexes, three-dimensional imaging of normal and disease-causing protein complexes is essential. This could ultimately lead to more effective treatments, but also to vaccines against diseases such as tuberculosis.

Using high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy, detailed photographs of complex protein structures in cells can be taken. Next, powerful computers transform these images into 3D structures of protein complexes. This technique requires painstaking preparation of the biological samples. To this end, the M4I Division of Nanoscopy has state-of-the-art microscopes at its disposal and Peter Peters, professor of Nanobiology at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, is an internationally renowned expert in the field. 

Ongoing Nanoscopy projects:

 

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Research line 2

Imaging Mass Spectrometry

The M4I Division of Imaging Mass Spectrometry, under supervision of university professor Ron Heeren, is one of the world leaders in high resolution molecular imaging of biological surfaces. The division targets the development and application of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry based molecular imaging approaches for nanomedicine and biomedical research.

Heeren’s research group is among others well-known for the application of Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) to molecular histology, the study of functional molecules within living tissues. The main research aim for the coming years is to develop and apply mass spectrometry as a diagnostic and prognostic tool for personalized medicine in e.g. oncology, neurology and cardiovascular medicine, three important fields of expertise of Maastricht University.

The Division of Imaging Mass Spectrometry is part of M4I, the largest molecular imaging centre in Europe, and is embedded in the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences of Maastricht University. The division operates in close collaboration with the M4I Division of Nanoscopy (of Prof. Peter Peters) and the departments of General Surgery and Pathology of Maastricht University Medical Centre.

 

M4I research centres around the following research lines

  • Research line 1

    Nanoscopy

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  • Research line 2

    Imaging Mass Spectrometry

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