Dr. Wah Chiu, Baylor College of Medicine

Watch the REALab Video - "Regarded as one of the world's leading experts in cryomicroscopy, Dr. Wah Chiu of the Baylor College of Medicine is unraveling the mysteries of the building blocks of life through investigation of biological nanomachines."

Dr. Wah Chiu
Director, National Center for Macromolecular Imaging

Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Wah Chiu is renowned worldwide for his contributions to the field of electron cryomicroscopy. His lab has developed high throughput methods for imaging and solving 3-dimensional structures of macromolecular machines at atomic resolution. Biological applications include viruses, ion channels, membranes, oligomeric proteins and cyotskeletal protein complexes.

In recent publications, his team has looked beyond the highly symmetrical ball-like surface protein shell of the episilon15 bacteriophage that infects Salmonella bacteria. They have described different molecular parts involved in binding to host cells, injecting DNA into the cell and packaging it during the virus formation.

Additionally, Dr. Chiu’s recent work has included building the first atomic model directly from a single particle cryo-EM density map of Group II chaperonin, or mediator of cellular protein folding in eukaryotes and archaea.

Dr. Chiu is a professor in the BCM department of biochemistry and molecular biology, and the director of the National Center for Macromolecular Imaging. He has done extensive work using phase plate technology and JEOL TEMs - the models JEM-2200FS, JEM-2010, JEM-2100F, and JEM-3200F are used in his lab at Baylor College of Medicine.

Selected Publications:

  1. Visualizing the structural changes of bacteriophage Epsilon15 and its Salmonella host during infection.
  2. Zernike phase contrast cryo-electron microscopy and tomography for structure determination at nanometer and subnanometer resolutions.
  3. Mechanism of folding chamber closure in a group II chaperonin.

Additional publications >