Paul Verkade , Professor

Paul Verkade

Professor Paul Verkade’s research group is currently based at the University of Bristol, UK where he works on the development and application of microscopy techniques for the study of sorting mechanisms in intracellular transport pathways. This may involve the trafficking of ligands bound to their receptor, viruses or synthetic carriers.
He studied and got his PhD degree at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. After his post-doc time at the EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany in the group of Kai Simons and setting up a new EM lab at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology in Dresden, Germany he moved to Bristol in 2006. Here he set up a new EM unit as part of the Wolfson Bioimaging Facility, a fully integrated light and electron microscopy centre.

The main tools in the lab are Electron Microscopy (EM) and Correlative Light Electron Microscopy (CLEM) in which fields he has published over 70 papers. Amongst other things, he has developed the Rapid Transfer System for the EM PACT2 high-pressure freezer together with Leica Microsystems. This allows for the combination of time-resolved CLEM with optimal preservation of ultrastructure for EM.

Other microscopy techniques we are employing to answer our biological questions are live cell microscopy, VolumeEM techniques such as Electron Tomography and Serial Block Face SEM and Four Wave Mixing, and of cause if useful and possible in a Correlative Microscopy approach.
The current focus of the lab is on the application of those techniques to the field of Synthetic Biology, i.e. how are synthetic particles taken up and processed by cells but also the exciting new area of Structural Cell Biology, placing molecular complexes and structures in its cellular context using Cryo Electron Microscopy is finding its way here.
Prof. Verkade has organised and taught on several courses and workshops on subjects such as high-pressure freezing, Correlative Light Electron Microscopy (CLEM), and immuno EM. His lab is the home of the EMBO practical course on CLEM (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018). He is WG leader for CLEM in the EU COST project “COMULIS” and has been the chair of the Electron Microscopy section of the Royal Microscopy Society.