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 focus is 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.


How our research benefits to society

Technique development allows to better analyse how the building blocks of regulate life or contribute to derailed process leading to diseases. We develop microscopic methods that help to study the dynamics of these molecules (compare a single picture with a video) and increase the depth of analysis (compare a black and white TV versus a color TV, or even 3D movies). Successful developments can be broadly applied in life sciences.

Our first implementation is in Type 1 diabetes research, the cause of this disease is not known, therapy is highly invasive, and life expectancy of patients is decreased by ~10 years. Understanding the mechanism that lead to disease might be the first step in preventing T1D.


Small profile picture of B. N. G. Giepmans
Ben Giepmans UMIC Director
Greetje Noppert Secretary - Section Molecular Cellbiology

University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Department of Biomedical Sciences of Cells and Systems
Ben Giepmans - Advanced Microscopy & T1D
Internal Zip code FB32
Antonius Deusinglaan 1
9700 AD Groningen
The Netherlands

Visiting Address
University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Department of Biomedical Sciences of Cells and Systems
Antonius Deusinglaan1
Building 3215, 7th floor, room 749
9713 AV Groningen
The Netherlands