... understanding life in molecular detail

Dr Rene Frank

Cryogenic correlated light-electron microscopy; Cryo-electron tomography; Mouse genetics; Structural neuroscience


My group are interested in using novel mouse genetic and biochemical labelling methods in combination with cryo-electron microscopy to determine in situ molecular structures of the mammalian brain. We are particularly interested in synaptic mechanisms, memory, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Current major projects include:
  • Trans-synaptic signalling mechanisms
  • Structural basis of cognition
  • Novel labelling methods for cryo-electron microscopy

University Academic Fellow
BSc (Imperial) PhD (Cambridge)
Biochemical Society Early Career Medal

Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellow 2006-2008
Junior Research Fellow Emmanuel College (Sanger Institute) 2008-2011
Postdoc (Edinburgh) 2011-2013
Investigator Scientist (MRC LMB) 2013-2018

Garstang 6.41d
School of Biomedical Sciences
+44 (0)113 343

Selected Publications

  1. Almeida-Souza L., Frank R.A.W, Garcia-Nafria J., Colussi A., Gunawardana N., Johnson C.M., Yu M., Howard G., Andrews B., Vallis Y., McMahon H.T. A flat BAR protein promotes actin polymerisation at the base of clathrin-coated pits. 
    Cell 74, 325  (2018) PubMed DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.05.020

  2. Frank R.A.W., Grant S.G.N. (2017). Supramolecular organisation of NMDA receptors and the postsynaptic density. 
    Current Opinions in Neurobiology 142, 139-147 (2017) PubMed DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2017.05.019

  3. Frank R.A.W., Komiyama N.H., Grant S.G.N. Hierarchical organisation and genetically separable subfamilies of PSD95 postsynaptic supercomplexes. 
    Journal of Neurochemistry 142, 504-511 (2017) PubMed DOI: 10.1111/jnc.14056

  4. Frank R.A.W., Komiyama N.H., Ryan T.J., Zhu F., O’Dell T., Grant S.G.N. (2016). NMDA receptors are selectively partitioned into complexes and supercomplexes during synapse maturation. 
    Nature Communications 7, 11624 (2016) PubMed DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11264