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Eva Nogales with Di Croce Lab at CRG
Eva Nogales with ALBA
Nogales ALBA
Paella in Barcelona

Springtime in Barcelona

Dr Eva Nogales is a biophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley, where she studies the molecular function of macromolecular assemblies.  She does this by using cryo-electron microscopy to visualize their architecture, functional states, and regulatory interactions.  Her lab is dedicated to gaining mechanistic insight into two important areas of eukaryotic biology: central dogma machinery in the control of gene expression, and cytoskeleton interactions and dynamics in cell division.  These interests led her to the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona this past April where she spent her VVP sabbatical hosted by Dr Thomas Surrey and Dr Luciano di Croce.  She started and ended her sabbatical by presenting her research to the community.  Her first talk was on her studies of microtubules, especially concerning the structural basis of dynamic instability, and those on large cofactors required for human transcription initiation by PolII.  The last was on the regulatory mechanisms of the gene silencer PRC2.  Both provoked real interest in her research and led to many conversations over the month that have spawned several new collaborations.  In particular, Eva worked closely with a postdoc in the Surrey Lab.  Dr Weiming Lin is reconstituting minimal systems of microtubules, microtubule crosslinkers, and motors in order to reproduce in vitro some essential properties observed in spindles during mitosis.  Following Weiming on his experiments Eva was exposed to the preparation of samples for TIRF imaging, and to the TIRF experiments themselves. This has been extremely helpful, she reported, since she plans to expand her lab’s studies of microtubule-associated factors that regulate and utilize dynamic instability with real time, functional assays using TIRF microscopy.  “In summary, my VVP stay at CRG has been one of the most exciting times in my career. It has exposed me to new methodology for my lab, to new systems, and to new collaborators.  I have recently submitted my NIH R35 renewal and two of the collaborations I mentioned are part of the proposed studies. The timing could not have been better!”


1. Eva with Luciano Di Croce and members of his lab.

2. Eva with colleagues at ALBA, the Catalan synchroton.

3. A visit to the Catalan synchroton, ALBA, which now also hosts a Cryo-EM facility.

4.  Eva and Thomas Surrey (both wearing hats) enjoying a paella lunch with the Surrey Lab members.