Hans Ris Annual Seminar

wolfgang baumeister

2022’s Speaker: Wolfgang Baumeister

Professor, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry

Talk Title:

Cryo-Electron Tomography or the Power of Seeing the Whole Picture


Traditionally, structural biologists have approached cellular complexity in a reductionist manner by characterizing isolated and purified molecular components. This ‘divide and conquer’ approach has been highly successful. However, awareness has grown in recent years that only rarely can biological functions be attributed to individual macromolecules. Most cellular functions arise from their acting in concert. Hence there is a need for methods developments enabling studies performed in situ, i.e. in unperturbed cellular environments. Sensu stricto the term ‘structural biology in situ’ should apply only to a scenario in which the cellular environment is preserved in its entirety. Cryo electron tomography has unique potential to study the supramolecular architecture or ‘molecular sociology’ of cells. It combines the power of three-dimensional imaging with the best structural preservation that is physically possible.


Wolfgang Baumeister  is a  molecular biologist and biophysicist at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry’ who does research involving molecular biological structures, protein and cell structure, and protein degradation. His research has been pivotal in the development of Cryoelectron tomography.  He has won many prizes, including the Otto Warburg Medal, the Louis-Jeantet Prize, the I. & H. Wachter Award, the Harvey Prize, the Schleiden Medal, the Ernst Schering Prize, and the Ernst Jung Gold Medal for Medicine.

Date & Time:

3 PM June 27, 2022

Reception and refreshments to follow


DeLuca Forum, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery (WID)

Hans Ris Seminar

The Center for Quantitative Cell Imaging (CQCI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison hosts an annual seminar series honoring Hans Ris, who oversaw the installation of one of the nation’s first high-voltage electron microscopes in the former location of LOCI. Ris remained Emeritus Investigator of the IMR until his passing in 2004.

Co-sponsored by the Morgridge Institute for Research and the Center for Quantitative Cell Imaging

Previous Speakers:

2019: Davi Bock, HHMI

2018: Tatyana Svitkina, University of Pennsylvania

2017: Erik M. Jorgensen, University of Utah

2016: David H. Hall, Albert Einstein College

2015: Kent McDonald, UC Berkeley

2014: Wah Chiu, Baylor College of Medicine

2013: Thomas Müller-Reichert, Technische Universität Dresden

2012: Mark E. Ellisman, UC San Diego