BUILDING UP COMPLEXITY WITH IN SITU STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY
The Baker lab explores biomolecular function in the context of cellular communities, which is especially important in understanding infection and our commensal microbiome. Our primary research tool is electron cryotomography (cryoET), which allows us to directly image molecules of interest in their native environment of a cell or cellular community. We combine cryoET with a variety of other approaches, including standard structural and cellular biology techniques, in an integrative approach that lets us tackle problems at different distance and time scales.
To conduct our research, we develop new approaches to building up tractable complexity in our samples, incorporating biological strategies for models of infection and commensalism and biophysical/biochemical methodologies for identifying events of interest in our data.