Research Groups

Giepmans group

Our goal is to better visualize how molecules, organelles and cells act in concert to organize life, and how this may be affected in diseases, with special interest in Type 1 diabetes.

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  • Ben Giepmans PhD Visit

    Associate Professor, Principal Investigator

    Research fields

    Cell Biology, Microscopy, Type 1 Diabetes

    PhD students
    postdoctoral fellows
      • Selected Publications:
      1. de Boer P, Pirozzi NM, Wolters AHG, Kuipers J, Kusmartseva I, Atkinson MA, Campbell-Thompson M, Giepmans BNG. Large-scale electron microscopy database for human type 1 diabetesNat Commun. 2020 May 18;11(1):2475. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16287-5.
      2. Kuipers J, Giepmans BNG.  Neodymium as an alternative contrast for uranium in electron microscopy. Histochem Cell Biol. 2020 Apr;153(4):271-277. doi: 10.1007/s00418-020-01846-0. Epub 2020 Feb 1.
      3. Pirozzi NM, Hoogenboom JP, Giepmans BNG.  ColorEM: analytical electron microscopy for element-guided identification and imaging of the building blocks of life.  Histochem Cell Biol. 2018 Nov;150(5):509-520. doi: 10.1007/s00418-018-1707-4. Epub 2018 Aug 17.
      4. de Boer P, Hoogenboom JP, Giepmans BN (2015) Correlated light and electron microscopy: ultrastructure lights up! Nat Methods 12:503-13. (pdf)
      5. Ravelli RB, Kalicharan RD, Avramut MC, Sjollema KA, Pronk JW, Dijk F, Koster AJ, Visser JT, Faas FG, Giepmans BN (2013) Destruction of tissue, cells and organelles in type 1 diabetic rats presented at macromolecular resolution. Sci Rep 3:1804. (pdf)
      6. Schnell U, Dijk F, Sjollema KA, Giepmans BN (2012) Immunolabeling artifacts and the need for live-cell imaging. Nat Methods 9:152-8. (pdf)
      7. Gaietta GM/ Giepmans BN, Deerinck TJ, Smith WB, Ngan L, Llopis J, Adams SR, Tsien RY, Ellisman MH (2006) Golgi twins in late mitosis revealed by genetically encoded tags for live cell imaging and correlated electron microscopy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103:17777-82. (pdf)
      8. Giepmans BN, Adams SR, Ellisman MH, Tsien RY (2006) The fluorescent toolbox for assessing protein location and function. Science 312:217-24.  (pdf)
      9. Giepmans BN, Deerinck TJ, Smarr BL, Jones YZ, Ellisman MH (2005) Correlated light and electron microscopic imaging of multiple endogenous proteins using Quantum dots. Nat Methods 2:743-9. (pdf)
      10. Giepmans BN, Verlaan I, Hengeveld T, Janssen H, Calafat J, Falk MM, Moolenaar WH (2001) Gap junction protein connexin-43 interacts directly with microtubules. Curr Biol 11:1364-8. (pdf)
  • To facilitate or research, we develop and implement new microscopic techniques and probes for large-scale electron microscopy. The extensive datasets which are produced are suitable for open-access data sharing (nanotomy). Moreover, we develop correlated microscopy (CLEM) to study dynamics, as well as localizing targets at near-molecular resolution. Finally, we pioneer colorEM to identify multiple targets of interest at high resolution. To ensure that tools are of generic interest, we directly implement these in multiple collaborative research projects.

    Our main interest is on the role of cell-cell interaction in diseases, focusing on Islets of Langerhans to help to understand trigger(s) and potential new therapies for Type 1 diabetes. Using the newly developed microscopic techniques, including the fluorescent toolbox , correlative microscopy and nanotomy, we uncovered that exocrine cells may affect endocrine beta cells. Whether these interactions are related to auto-immune destruction of beta cells is under investigation.

  • Dissertations supervised by Ben N.G. Giepmans (co-promotor or assessor):



    Faber, A. I. E. (2019). VPS13A: shining light on its localization and function. [Groningen]: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.


    de Boer, P. (2018). Correlative microscopy reveals abnormalities in type 1 diabetes[Groningen]: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen


    Sokol, E. (2016). Pemphigus pathogenesis: Insights from light and electron microscopy studies [Groningen]: University of Groningen


    Schnell, U. (2012). Finding the balance: EpCaM signaling in health and disease Groningen: s.n.

  • Student projects:


    Open application Internship form MCB section

    Application form for an internship at one of the research groups of the section Medical Cell Biology of the department Biomedical Sciences of Cells and Systems

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    • PhD students:
      Tjakko van Ham
      Ulrike Schnell
      Ena Sokol

    • (Large-scale electron microscopy (EM) datasets)

      UMIC (UMCG Microscopy & Imaging Center)

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