The research is centred on structural neurobiology with the overall aim of understanding molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal communication. In particularly, the research focuses on synaptic transmission in the brain i.e. how we learn and how memories are formed and maintained. Recent and ongoing work addresses the structure and function of domesticated endogenous retroviral elements and how these have evolved and influence neuronal communication. Many of these still form retroviral-like capsids when expressed in cells, and it has also been shown that these endogenous capsids are capable of protecting and transporting genetic and enzymatic material between cells in a retroviral-like manner. While these pathways are still poorly understood, endogenous retroviral element are important in many aspects of cellular function and may also provide a platform for targeted delivery of medicine.
A wide range of cell biological methods combined with structural and biophysical techniques are used. In particular, cryo electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is used to study molecular complexes and capsids in detail. Combined with cryo electron tomography (cryo-ET) and subtomogram averaging even highly heterogenous complexes can be investigated in their native cellular environment.