Natasha Lukoyanova

Department of Biological Sciences


Birkbeck College 

London WC1E 7HX, UK



EM facility ISMB/Birkbeck

Birkbeck EMBO course 2019

Please visit ORCID for a publication  list.


Dr Lukoyanova is the EM facility co-ordinator at the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology (ISMB). Her primary responsibilities include maintaining the instrumentation, teaching new users, and providing advice to users on sample preparation, data collection and image processing. She is also actively involved in coordination of data collection at the national Electron Bio-Imaging Centre (eBIC) at Diamond.

She is involved in running biannual EMBO courses on EM image processing at Birkbeck, teaching at RMS Electron Microscopy Schools and cryo EM preparation courses at the eBIC.

Her current research (collaboration with Prof. C. Kleanthous, University of Oxford) focuses on the formation of E. coli outer membrane ColE9 translocon complex. They have shown previously that translocon formation involves ColE9’s unstructured N-terminal domain threading in opposite directions through two OmpF subunits; this enables capture of its target TolB on the other side of the membrane in a fixed orientation that triggers colicin import (Housden et al., 2013). Thus an intrinsically disordered protein can tunnel through the narrow pores of an oligomeric porin to deliver an epitope signal to initiate cell death.

Before becoming facility co-ordinator, she was a senior postdoc in Prof. H. Saibil’s group (Birkbeck). In this role, she was responsible for the EM component of a multidisciplinary study of the molecular mechanisms of membrane disruption by MACPF/CDC pore-forming proteins. Previously, she studied the structure of septin filaments with Prof. J. Trinick (University of Leeds) and actin and actin binding proteins during her postdoctoral training under Prof. E. Egelman (University of Virginia)