Super Resolution Imaging

Super-Resolution Imaging

We aim to develop and apply cutting-edge imaging technologies in super-resolution microscopy, including atomic force microscopy (AFM), single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, structured illumination microscopy (SIM), stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) and Photo-activated localisation microscopy (PALM) to address key biological questions.

With significant investment from the University of Sheffield and external funders (£7M), our facilities are unique for their combination of microscopy capabilities.

Recent Research Highlights

Some of the big stories in this research area recently published by our staff

ThumbnailScientists discover how superbugs hide from their host

  • Smith RE, Salamaga B, Szkuta P, Hajdamowicz N, Prajsnar TK, Bulmer GS, Fontaine T, Kołodziejczyk J, Herry J-M, Hounslow AM , Williamson MP et al (2019) Decoration of the enterococcal polysaccharide antigen EPA is essential for virulence, cell surface charge and interaction with effectors of the innate immune system. PLOS Pathogens, 15(5).

Prochlorococcus thumbNew research reveals how proteins that harvest and use sunlight are organised by the most abundant organism in the world

  • MacGregor-Chatwin C, Jackson PJ, Sener M, Chidgey JW, Hitchcock A, Qian P, Mayneord GE, Johnson MP, Luthey-Schulten Z, Dickman MJ , Scanlan DJ et al (2019) Membrane organization of photosystem I complexes in the most abundant phototroph on Earth. Nature Plants, 5(8), 879-889

Photosynthesis thumbMembranes on the move. How plants sense and respond to changing levels of sunlight

  • Wood WHJ, Barnett SFH, Flannery S, Hunter CN & Johnson MP (2019) Dynamic Thylakoid Stacking Is Regulated by LHCII Phosphorylation but Not Its interaction with PSI. Plant Physiology, 180(4), 2152-2166.

Thumbnail image for Bob Turner StorySheffield scientists ‘see the chemistry’ of bacterial cell walls to aid new antibiotic insights

  • Turner RD, Mesnage S, Hobbs JK & Foster SJ (2018) Molecular imaging of glycan chains couples cell-wall polysaccharide architecture to bacterial cell morphology. Nature Communications, 9(1).

Opportunities for study in this research area

Postgraduate Masters Course (MSc) in Biological Imaging

Our one-year MSc course in Biological Imaging is designed to meet the growing demand for skilled, multi-disciplinary bioscientists to take on roles in academia, industry and healthcare and beyond.

Click here for more information


For further information and research opportunities, please see the staff page of individual researchers below:

hunternProfessor Neil Hunter FRS

  • Atomic force microscopy and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy in the study of bacterial photosynthesis

T: 0114 222 4191

johnsonmDr Matt Johnson

  • Atomic force microscopy and structured illumination microscopy in studying thylakoid membrane dynamics in photosynthetic organisms

T: 0114 222 4418

Andrew HitchcockDr Andrew Hitchcock

  • Bacterial Photosynthesis
  • Cofactor synthesis
  • Membrane biogenesis
  • Redesigning Light harvesting

T: 0114 222 xxxx

Simon FosterProfessor Simon Foster

  • Bacterial cell wall structure, function and dynamics
  • Stress resistance and pathogenesis multi-antibiotic resistant Gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus

T: 0114 222 4411

Egbert HoiczykDr Egbert Hoiczyk

  • Using light and electron microscopy to study the structure and function of bacterial ultra-structure. Particular interest in bacterial cytoskeletons, gliding motility complexes and nano-organelles.

T: 0114 222 2733

mesnagesDr Stephane Mesnage

  • Bacterial cell wall organisation of the Gram-positive pathogens Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus, including cell-surface interactions and peptidoglycan layer dynamics.

T: 0114 222 4405

Research Institutes

Our Research in Super-Resolution Imaging is supported by and feeds into the following University Research Institutes.


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