café scientifique

Next Meeting:

Monday 9th September 2019
“A Journey to the Centre of the Cell:
how electron microscopes are used in research”
By Rebecca Thompson

Each cell in your body is a crowded chaotic environment, home to millions of individual proteins. Light microscopes have been used for hundreds of years to begin to understand the cells organisation into different compartments, but the individual protein machines that drive all the processes necessary for life cannot be seen using this type of microscope. The invention of electron microscopes in the 1930’s opened up new avenues for imaging these tiny structures, but only recently has the technology enabled us to probe the structure of macromolecular machines in close to atomic detail. In this talk we will explore how electron microscopes work, how we turn the images into 3D models of our proteins of interest, and the ways in which this data is transforming our understanding of different areas of biology.


Rebecca Thompson works at the University of Leeds, managing the Asbury Biostructure Laboratory Electron Microscopy Facility, which houses state-of-the-art electron microscopes for studying life in molecular detail. Rebecca developed her interest in microscopy at a young age, when she enjoyed using her hand-held light microscope to inspect the dirt on her hair and bedroom carpet (much to her Mums delight!). This interest was developed in a professional sense during her PhD work at the University of Leeds, in the laboratories of Prof. Neil Ranson, Prof. Sheena Radford and Dr Eric Hewitt, where she explored the use of electron microscopy to study the interactions of misfolded proteins and viruses with the membranes of cells. Rebecca’s research now focuses on developing ways to use electron microscopes to tackle a range of research questions, and the potential of combining different types of microscopy data.











About Café Scientifique

Café Scientifique is a place where people can meet to hear eminent speakers on all things scientific. The events are extremely popular with lively discussion and informative talks. Topics are always relevant, cutting edge and up-to-date. They are often taken from a wider global discussion.

All are welcome. The Café is held at The New Headingley Club on St Michael’s Road.

For information on topics please check back here for updates or for more information see the e-newsletter or the HDT newsletter.

To be added to the Café Scientifique mailing list please fill out the online form opposite.


Click here for details of previous talks

Coming soon:

Monday 8th July
Live Viruses for the Treatment of Cancer
By Adel Samson

No Meeting in August

Monday 9th September
A Journey to the Centre of the Cell:
Electron Microscopes in Research
By Rebecca Thompson

Monday 14th October
A Whistle-stop Tour of Code Breaking
By Katie Chicot

Monday 11th November
The End of Politics?
The use of randomised trials in policy making
By David Torgerson

Monday 9th December
50 years of Man on the Moon
By Mark Wrigley


Monday 13th January 2020
Live Viruses for the Treatment of Cancer
By Sue Pavitt and Wendy Thompson

Monday 10th February 2020
Inherited Blindness: a cure in sight?
By Colin Johnson

what's on

  • Projects and Events

    HDT Projects and EventsVisit page

  • Farmers Market

    Sat 10th August 2019Visit page

  • Zero Carbon Headingley

    Wednesday 4th September, 7.30pm at HEART - all welcomeVisit page

  • Café Scientifique

    Mon 9th September - A Journey to the Centre of the CellVisit page

  • Talking Heads

    Thurs 12th September - Islamophobia: Rooted in their Religion, or our Politics?Visit page

  • Films at HEART

    Tues 10th September - Mid90sVisit page

@HDTHeadingley on Twitter

additional info

7:30pm – 9:30pm

New Headingley Club
56 St Michael’s Road
Tel: 0113 2757712 (for info. on venue)

Entry £3

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