Our goal is to better visualize how molecules, organelles and cells act in concert to organise life, and how this may be affected in diseases.
Thereto we develop and implement new microscopic techniques and probes for large-scale electron microscopy, which allows for open-access data sharing (nanotomy). Moreover, we develop correlated microscopy (CLEM) to study dynamics, as well as localizing targets at near-molecular resolution. Finally, we pioneer colorEM to identify multiple targets of interest at high resolution. To ensure that tools are of generic interest, we directly implement these in multiple collaborative research projects.
Giepmans’ main interest is on the role of cell-cell interaction in diseases, focusing on Islets of Langerhans to help to understand trigger(s) and potential new therapies for Type 1 diabetes. Using the newly developed microscopic techniques we uncovered that exocrine cells may affect endocrine beta cells. Whether these interactions are related to auto-immune destruction of beta cells is under investigation.
Ben Giepmans research focuses on cell-cell junctions in diseases, with special interest in the pancreatic beta cell, which is destroyed in type 1 diabetes.