Cryo-electron microscopy images of membrane proteins (circled). Image courtesy of our collaborator Cornelius Gati.

Protein Shapes

Proteins are fundamental to life with functions ranging from mechanical cellular support to immune protection. The specific role of a given protein is mainly determined by its 3D shape, which is why it is so crucial to understand proteins' 3D conformations.

Our research implements and uses tools from geometric learning to:

  • reconstruct the shapes of proteins from biological images such as images generated by cryo-electron microscopy,
  • analyzes the protein shapes in relation with their biological functions

Our current research focuses on membrane proteins, these molecules that are the target of more than 50% of prescription drugs, including the treatment of neurological disorders and cancers, yet still difficult to image.

Want to learn more?

Check out this article describing the applications of this research from our collaborator Cornelius Gati at USC!

- Read about the Stanford-SLAC cryo-electron microscopy facilities with our collaborator Frédéric Poitevin.



Irregular boundary of a cancer cell in the mouse. Image courtesy of our collaborator Ashok Prasad.

Cell Shapes

Cells adopt a variety of shapes determined by the biophysical forces and processes at the very center of life. The emergence of large-scale cell imaging gives us a fantastic opportunity to study these shapes with quantitative measures that link cellular morphology with cellular functionality and cellular health.

Our research implements and uses tools from geometric learning to:

  • perform quantitative analyses of cell shapes under different physiological conditions,
  • link the geometry of the cell to its biophysical processes.

Our current research studies how shape differences between cancer cells treated with different drugs can shine light on the underlying biophysical processes.

Want to learn more?

Check out this notebook analyzing cancer cell lines with geometric methods!

- Look at the research from our collaborator Khanh Dao Duc!


Relevant Publications