Our mission

Our mission is to:

  • promote innovative use of modern electron microscopy (EM) techniques by working with colleagues in biological, chemical and material sciences
  • provide training for users to operate microscopes and to prepare specimens
  • work with principal investigators to introduce innovative EM imaging techniques to the research community
  • develop specimen preparation techniques tailored to individual requirements
  • provide routine EM services for well characterised specimens
  • provide a dedicated director and staff for ongoing technical consultation and support


We operate as a collaborative research facility and will support researchers with experiment design and data interpretation. This is to ensure high-quality data is collected and prepared for publication.

Our staff are available to help with materials and methods, figure presentation, appropriate references and discussion of data.

Where a significant contribution has been identified, you will be expected to acknowledge the contribution of CUI staff by way of authorship, in accordance with the Core Facilities Fair Publication Policy.

JEOL Centre for Advanced Technology

We have established a partnership with JEOL to create the JEOL Centre for Advanced Technology within our centre.

This brings together world-class researchers in life and physical sciences with the instrument development capacity of an internationally leading electron optics manufacturer to provide a research setting where new instrument ideas can be developed and optimised in partnership with academics.

This promotes the exchange of ideas between scientists and developers in a dynamic environment with training and technical innovation at its heart.

CUI Strategic Advisory Committee

Chair: Prof. Mark Green (Physics)
Members: Prof. Maddy Parson (Randall, Nikon Imaging Centre), Prof. Eileen Gentleman (Dentistry, CCRB), Prof. Juan Martin Serrano (Vice Dean Research & Impact, Infectious Diseases), Prof. Kinya Otsu (BHF), Prof. Juan Burrone (CDN/ IoPPN), Dr. Joe Atherton (Randall, Biophysics), Dr. Greg Anderson (RMID)

Staff profiles

Professor Roland Fleck, Director

Roland joined King’s College London in November 2013 from the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), where he was head of Biological Imaging and Assay Development. At NIBSC Roland developed advanced imaging techniques for the control and standardisation of biological medicines. He also developed differentiation protocols for human embryonic stem cell lines to allow them to be used as substrates in functional biological assays.

Roland has extensive experience and knowledge of low temperature biology and cryopreservation having investigated how cells and tissues both avoid and are damaged by chilling and freezing events. He maintains an active research focus, supervising both PhD and postdoctoral researchers and has active collaborations to advancing electron microscopy and ultrastructural studies of protists.

Roland also works closely with instrument manufacturers to advance cryo-electron microscopy and cryo-instrument development.

Alejandra Carbajal, Diagnostic and Clinical Research

Alejandra is a biochemist trained as an electron microscopist at EMBL in Heidelberg. In Griffiths’ group, she studied vaccinia virus host cell interactions. Later, she continued gaining experience in EM at the Medical School Hanover in Germany, studying the ultrastructural aspects of the lung and the surfactant system.

In 2012, she relocated to the UK and worked in the Diagnostic Electron Microscopy Unit (UCL) at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

She joined the CUI in 2018 to work for our diagnostic service as well as supporting research projects. Since 2021 she is working with the research team covering a vast range of techniques.

Leanne Allison, Research

Leanne is an electron microscope technician that joined the centre in 2012. She predominantly works on the research team and has a versatile skill set having extensive experience in a range of techniques. Her main focus is sample preparation and imaging techniques using both transmission and scanning EM on a wide range of specimens.

She is also a HCPC registered biomedical scientist responsible for the clinical research projects at CUI as well as assisting with the routine diagnostic workload when necessary.


Dr Matthew Russell, Research

Matt’s PhD and postdoctoral research used transmission electron microscopy and tomography to examine how disruption of ESCRTs impairs endosome biogenesis in yeast and animal cells.

With this background in intracellular membrane biology, he then helped address a range of biological questions at the subcellular level at the Electron Microscopy Science Technology Platform of the Francis Crick Institute. This often involved infectious agents like mycobacteria and apicomplexan parasites. He enjoys using correlative approaches to help understand features from multiple points of view, combining electron microscopy data (often in 3D) with data from light microscopes, microanalysis, and other types of electron microscope. He’s also interested in how features from volume EM images can be modelled, and those models analysed to extract meaningful data.

Matt joined CUI in 2021 to continue applying and developing these approaches.

Matt’s publications: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4608-7669

Tweet Matt @MattRGR

Aleksandra Januszkiewicz, Administration and Finance Officer

Aleksandra joined the CUI team in October 2021 as the Administration and Finance Officer, shortly after completing her MSc in Human Resource Management and Organisational Analysis at King’s College London and is in the process of gaining a CIPD membership.

Furthermore, she has a BA in Business Management and her working background is predominantly in Finance.





Dr Suwimon Boonrungsiman

Suwimon has experience working in bone mineralization process using analytical electron microscopy techniques, investigating ‘step by step’ of how bone cells sequester mineral from inside cells to bone matrix during her PhD.  Then, she continues her work in electron microscopes, and extend her experience to confocal microscopes and other material characterization techniques to examine a wide range of biological samples and nanoparticles during her work at Nanotechnology center, Thailand.

She joined CUI in June 2021 to carry out a research in bone mineralization under pathological conditions, both genetic deficiencies and irregular remodeling caused by diseases.



Affiliated staff

Dr Gema Vizcay - Barrena, Senior EM Technician

Gema was part of the CUI team from 2011 until 2019. She was the senior research EM technician in the Unit, responsible for the management and delivery of a wide range of EM research projects. She has a PhD in plant molecular biology and extensive research experience in a wide range of topics, with a particular focus on electron microscopy preparation methods. She co-ordinated training and teaching while managing the delivery of EM support to CUI users. She is currently affiliated to the CUI in a consultant capacity but no longer manages research projects.


Pedro Machado, Operations Manager
Pedro started working as an electron microscopist in 2008 at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (PT) studying the ultrastructure of centrioles, basal bodies, and axonemes.
In 2013, he moved to the Electron Microscopy Core Facility at EMBL (DE) where he gained further expertise in specimen preparation and imaging (CLEM, TEM tomography and FIB-SEM imaging).                                                                                                                                                                    
He joined the CUI team in October 2019, using his past experience for tailored experimental design and developing new methods for CUI collaborations.
Dr Claudine Bisson, CryoEM Research

Claudine joined the CUI team in March 2020 to help develop single particle cryoEM and cryo-tomography at KCL.

She has a background in structural biology, obtaining her PhD from The University Sheffield in 2012, she has used a range of biochemical and structural biology techniques throughout her career, including X-ray crystallography and cryoEM, to study biologically important systems in plants and bacteria.

Most recently, she has been researching Malarial egress with Helen Saibil and Birkbeck College, where she was able to advance her skills in cryoEM, FIB-milling and sub-tomogram averaging to understand the role of a key protein complex from the surface of malarial parasites.

Claudine’s publications: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9430-6822

Tweet Claudine @xray_claud

Manuela Moreira, Diagnostic

Manuela joined CUI in October 2019 as an Electron Microscopy Technician and works for our diagnostic electron microscopy service.

She has a diverse background having completed a licentiate degree in Anatomical Pathology (2008) which gives expertise in diagnostic work (such as immunohistochemistry, paraffin embedding, histology, etc).

She completed a Masters in Biotechnology (2011) and continued the work of her thesis with a grant in Biotextile-Wastewater Treatment (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369703X15001679).

She has further training in Molecular Biology techniques (such as cloning and Confocal Microscopy).

Gintare Milasiute, Finance and Administration

Gintare joined the CUI in October/2019 as the Administration and Finance Officer for the department.

Gintare has an excellent background in business administration and management. She has completed a Bachelor of Management and Business Administration (2007) and two Masters degrees in Economics (2009) and Business Economics (2009).

Throughout her career – while working in the banking, retail, and education sectors – she has maintained a wide range of skills. This has been demonstrated in her work in project, cost, and material resources management. Her skillset includes problem-solving, decision making, operations analysis, attention to detail, and more.

Dr Mara Camelia Rusu


  1. The ESCRT machinery counteracts Nesprin-2G-mediated mechanical forces during nuclear envelope repair. Wallis, S., Ventimiglia, L., Otigbah, E., Infante, E., Cuesta-Geijo, M., Kidiyoor, G., Carbajal, M., Fleck, R., Foiani, M., Garcia-Manyes, S., Martin-Serrano, J. and Agromayor, M., 2021.  Developmental Cell, 56(23), pp.3192-3202.e8.
  2. Rapid Homeostatic Turnover of Embryonic ECM during Tissue Morphogenesis. Matsubayashi, Y., Sánchez-Sánchez, B., Marcotti, S., Serna-Morales, E., Dragu, A., Díaz-de-la-Loza, M., Vizcay-Barrena, G., Fleck, R. and Stramer, B., 2020. Developmental Cell, 54(1), pp.33-42.e9.
  3. Conopeptide-Functionalized Nanoparticles Selectively Antagonize ExtrasynapticN-Methyl-d-aspartate Receptors and Protect Hippocampal Neurons from Excitotoxicity In Vitro. Valente, P., Kiryushko, D., Sacchetti, S., Machado, P., Cobley, C., Mangini, V., Porter, A., Spatz, J., Fleck, R., Benfenati, F. and Fiammengo, R., 2020. ACS Nano, 14(6), pp.6866-6877.
  4. Dimethyl sulfoxide: a central player since the dawn of cryobiology, is efficacy balanced by toxicity? Awan, M., Buriak, I., Fleck, R., Fuller, B., Goltsev, A., Kerby, J., Lowdell, M., Mericka, P., Petrenko, A., Petrenko, Y., Rogulska, O., Stolzing, A. and Stacey, G., 2020 Regenerative Medicine, 15(3), pp.1463-1491.
  5. Effects of Germline VHL Deficiency on Growth, Metabolism, and Mitochondria. Perrotta, S., Roberti, D., Bencivenga, D., Corsetto, P., O’Brien, K., Caiazza, M., Stampone, E., Allison, L., Fleck, R., Scianguetta, S., Tartaglione, I., Robbins, P., Casale, M., West, J., Franzini-Armstrong, C., Griffin, J., Rizzo, A., Sinisi, A., Murray, A., Borriello, A., Formenti, F. and Della Ragione, F., 2020. New England Journal of Medicine, 382(9), pp.835-844.
  6. Maternal Larp6 controls oocyte development, chorion formation and elevation. Hau, H., Ogundele, O., Hibbert, A., Monfries, C., Exelby, K., Wood, N., Nevarez-Mejia, J., Carbajal, M., Fleck, R., Dermit, M., Mardakheh, F., Williams-Ward, V., Pipalia, T., Conte, M. and Hughes, S., 2020. Development
  7. Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Engineered to Express Collagen VII Can Restore Anchoring Fibrils in Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Skin Graft Chimeras. Petrova, A., Georgiadis, C., Fleck, R., Allison, L., McGrath, J., Dazzi, F., Di, W. and Qasim, W., 2020. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 140(1), pp.121-131.e6.
  8. Detailed hair shaft analysis in a man with delayed‐onset Chediak‐Higashi syndrome. Veraitch, O., Allison, L., Vizcay‐Barrena, G., Fleck, R., Price, A., Fenton, D., McGrath, J. and Stefanato, C., 2019. British Journal of Dermatology.
  9. Mitochondrial abnormalities and disruption of the neuromuscular junction precede the clinical phenotype and motor neuron loss in hFUSWT transgenic mice. So, E., Mitchell, J., Memmi, C., Chennell, G., Vizcay-Barrena, G., Allison, L., Shaw, C. and Vance, C., 2017. Human Molecular Genetics, 27(3), pp.463-474.
  10. Cryopreservation of Hepatocyte Microbeads for Clinical Transplantation. Jitraruch, S., Dhawan, A., Hughes, R., Filippi, C., Lehec, S., Glover, L. and Mitry, R., 2017.  Cell Transplantation, 26(8), pp.1341-1354.
  11. Parasitophorous vacuole poration precedes its rupture and rapid host erythrocyte cytoskeleton collapse in Plasmodium falciparum egress
    Hale, V. L., Watermeyer, J. M., Hackett, F., Vizcay-Barrena, G., Van Ooij, C., Thomas, J. A., Spink, M. C., Harkiolaki, M., Duke, E., Fleck, R. A., Blackman, M. J. & Saibil, H. R. 28 Mar 2017 In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 114, 13, p. 3439-3444.
  12. Distance-dependent gradient in NMDAR-driven spine calcium signals along tapering dendrites
    Walker, A. S., Neves, G., Grillo, F., Jackson, R. E., Rigby, M., O’Donnell, C., Lowe, A. S., Vizcay-Barrena, G., Fleck, R. A. & Burrone, J. 7 Mar 2017 In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 114, 10, p. E1986-E1995.
  13. Organic cation transporter 1 (OCT1) is involved in pentamidine transport at the human and mouse blood-brain barrier (BBB)
    Sekhar, G. N., Georgian, A. R., Sanderson, L., Vizcay-Barrena, G., Brown, R. C., Muresan, P., Fleck, R. A. & Thomas, S. A.1 Mar 2017 In : PL o S One . 12, 3, e0173474.
  14. Alkaline ceramidase 1 is essential for mammalian skin homeostasis and regulating whole-body energy expenditure. Liakath-Ali, K., Vancollie, V., Lelliott, C., Speak, A., Lafont, D., Protheroe, H., Ingvorsen, C., Galli, A., Green, A., Gleeson, D., Ryder, E., Glover, L., Vizcay-Barrena, G., Karp, N., Arends, M., Brenn, T., Spiegel, S., Adams, D., Watt, F. and van der Weyden, L., 2016. The Journal of Pathology, 239(3), pp.374-383.
  15. Proteomics of HCV virions reveals an essential role for the nucleoporin Nup98 in virus morphogenesis
    Lussignol, M., Kopp, M., Molloy, K., Vizcay-Barrena, G., Fleck, R. A., Dorner, M., Bell, K. L., Chait, B. T., Rice, C. M. & Catanese, M. T. 1 Mar 2016 In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 113, 9, p. 2484-2489.
  16. Bach1 differentially regulates distinct Nrf2-dependent genes in human venous and coronary artery endothelial cells adapted to physiological oxygen levels
    Chapple, S. J., Keeley, T. P., Mastronicola, D., Arno, M., Vizcay-Barrena, G., Fleck, R., Siow, R. & Mann, G. Mar 2016 In : Free radical biology & medicine. 92, p. 152-162.
  17. Hair Follicle Miniaturization in a Woolly Hair Nevus: A Novel “Root” Perspective for a Mosaic Hair Disorder
    Veraitch, O., Perez, A., Hoque, S. R., Vizcay-Barrena, G., Fleck, R. A., Fenton, D. A. & Stefanato, C. M. Mar 2016 In : American Journal of Dermatopathology. 38, 3, p. 239-243.
  18. Wbp2 is required for normal glutamatergic synapses in the cochlea and is crucial for hearing
    Buniello, A., Ingham, N. J., Lewis, M. A., Huma, A. C., Martinez-Vega, R., Varela-Nieto, I., Vizcay-Barrena, G., Fleck, R. A., Houston, O., Bardhan, T., Johnson, S. L., White, J. K., Yuan, H., Marcotti, W. & Steel, K. P. 8 Feb 2016 In : EMBO Molecular Medicine. 8, 3, p. 191-207.
  19. The Biosynthesis of Infrared-Emitting Quantum Dots in Allium Fistulosum
    Green, M., Haigh, S. J., Lewis, E. A., Sandiford, L., Burkitt-Gray, M., Fleck, R., Vizcay-Barrena, G., Jensen, L., Mirzai, H., Curry, R. J. & Dailey, L. A. 9 Feb 2016 In : Scientific Reports. 6, 20480.
  20. Lentiviral Engineered Fibroblasts Expressing Codon-Optimized COL7A1 Restore Anchoring Fibrils in RDEB. Georgiadis, C., Syed, F., Petrova, A., Abdul-Wahab, A., Lwin, S., Farzaneh, F., Chan, L., Ghani, S., Fleck, R., Glover, L., McMillan, J., Chen, M., Thrasher, A., McGrath, J., Di, W. and Qasim, W., 2016. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 136(1), pp.284-292.
  21. A spiral scaffold underlies cytoadherent knobs in Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes
    Watermeyer, J. M., Hale, V. L., Hackett, F., Clare, D. K., Cutts, E. E., Vakonakis, I., Fleck, R., Blackman, M. J. & Saibil, H. R. 21 Jan 2016 In : Blood. 127, 3, p. 343-351.
  22. Wild type human TDP-43 potentiates ALS-linked mutant TDP-43 driven progressive motor and cortical neuron degeneration with pathological features of ALS. Mitchell, J., Constable, R., So, E., Vance, C., Scotter, E., Glover, L., Hortobagyi, T., Arnold, E., Ling, S., McAlonis, M., Da Cruz, S., Polymenidou, M., Tessarolo, L., Cleveland, D. and Shaw, C., 2015. Acta Neuropathologica Communications, 3(1).
  23. Nr4a1-dependent Ly6C(low) monocytes monitor endothelial cells and orchestrate their disposal. Carlin LM, Stamatiades EG, Auffray C, Hanna RN, Glover L, Vizcay-Barrena G, Hedrick CC, Cook HT, Diebold S, Geissmann F. Cell. 2013 Apr 11;153(2):362-75.

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