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NanoMem is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network supported by the European Commission Framework Seven Programme. Our goal is to train the next generation of young researchers in state-of-the-art approaches to membrane protein structural biology using synchrotron radiation and X-ray free electron lasers.




Figure: Schematic of the experimental arrangement used in serial femtosecond crystallography studies at the LCLS, the world’s first X-ray laser. In these studies diffraction data from thousands of individual micro-crystals were merged to create complete diffraction data. Figure from Chapman et al., Nature 470, 73 (2011).


Modern structural biology builds upon synergies between lab-bench scale science on the one hand and large scale research infrastructure on the other. NanoMem recognises the transformative opportunities created by current X-ray source developments to impact strongly on the field of membrane protein structural biology. We will exploit synchrotron based micro-focus X-ray beams to address challenging diffraction studies from small membrane protein crystals; and we will develop revolutionary new approaches using X-ray Free Electron Lasers to open up a new field of high-resolution serial femtosecond crystallography of membrane proteins.


Nanomem will train nine PhD students and one Postdoctoral Fellow in state-of-the-art X-ray approaches to membrane protein structural biology. Our interdisciplinary and intersectorial research training work programme incorporates membrane protein production, purification, crystallisation, micro and nano-crystal manipulation, micro-focus diffraction at synchrotron sources, nano-focus diffraction at X-ray free electron lasers, software development, drug design, and commercialisation of the most helpful innovations. We believe that the current major European effort constructing new brilliant X-ray sources should be matched by an investment in educating the next generation of young scientists who will use these sources.


Ten laboratories in five countries participate in NanoMem. The participating researchers and their affiliations are listed below. If you are interested to learn more about the research activities within NanoMem or may be interested to contribute to this research programme, please contact the PIs by email directly.








Richard Neutze


University of Gothenburg

Chemistry & Molecular Biology

Gebhard Schertler


Paul Scherer Institute

Biomolecular Research

Ilme Schlichting


Max PIanck Inst. Heidelberg

Biomolecular Mechanisms

Michael Magerstädt




Eva Pebay-Peyroula



Structural Biology

So Iwata

United Kingdom

Imperial College London

Molecular Biosciences

Tony Savill

United Kingdom

Molecular Dimensions Ltd


Manfred Burghammer




Henry Chapman


University  Hamburg

Centre for FEL Science

Margareta Ek


Astra Zeneca

Structural Chemistry




This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration”.