Micron research aims to:

  1. To create a unique community and infrastructure allowing outstanding research groups to address key questions in their fields using advanced imaging tools such as super-resolution microscopy and single molecule imaging in living cells. Our overarching goal is to use light microscopy to study "vivo biochemistry". In other words to observe and interfere with biomolecules in the context of living cells.
  2. To develop and apply new bioimaging technologies. Micron associated groups have been using advanced microscopy methods to tackle major biological problems in a number of fields in cell biology. These include: chromosome and RNA biology, development, epigenetics, stem cells, non-coding RNAs, intracellular trafficking and signalling.
  3. To forge links and collaborations with a variety of other overlapping disciplines that have an outstanding presence in Oxford, including: systems biology, physics, engineering and computer sciences.

Advanced Bioimaging

Research in micron involves technology development in all aspects of microscopy: specimen preparation, probe development, instrument development and image analysis. However, we are focusing on the following approaches:

Image Analysis

We have two major goals in terms of image analysis in Micron: firstly, to encourage and help researchers to adopt the best available image analysis tools and workflow; and secondly, to develop transformational new imaging tools and apply existing cutting edge methodologies.

Current activities include:

  • Setting up computer infrastructure and software
  • Developing an efficient workflow for super-resolution data
  • Preparing image analysis lecture and course material
  • Development of SIMCheck our our Image J plug-in that allows users to apply quality control to their Structured illumination super-resolution systems.
  • Developing an improved particle tracker and adding functionality to MicrobeTracker
  • Development of 'ParticleStats' software for the analysis of analysis of intracellular particle motility and cytoskeletal polarity

Developmental microscope systems

  • DeepSIM - upright 3D-SIM microscope that uses adaptive optics for imaging deep in living specimens while allowing easy manipulation (microinjection and electrophysiology).
  • OMX-T Cryo SIM/STORM system which enables super-resolution imaging of frozen samples, providing significant gains in specimen preservation and photo-stability.
  • 4Pi-SMS single molecule interferometric microscope - dependent on funding
  • Lattice Light Sheet Microscope - dependent on funding

Publication Highlights

click here for all publications


  • Stephan Uphoff1, Nathan D. Lord, Burak Okumus, Laurent Potvin-Trottier, David J. Sherratt, Johan Paulsson. Stochastic activation of a DNA damage response causes cell-to-cell mutation rate variation. Science. 2016 Mar 4;351(6277):1094-7.
  • Nolivos S, Upton AL, Badrinarayanan A, Müller J, Zawadzka K, Wiktor J, Gill A, Arciszewska L, Nicolas E, Sherratt D. MatP regulates the coordinated action of topoisomerase IV and MukBEF in chromosome segregation. Nat Commun. 2016 Jan 28;7:10466.


  • Hagen C, Dent KC, Zeev-Ben-Mordehai T, Grange M, Bosse JB, Whittle C, Klupp BG, Siebert CA, Vasishtan D, Bäuerlein FJ, Cheleski J, Werner S, Guttmann P, Rehbein S, Henzler K, Demmerle J, Adler B, Koszinowski U, Schermelleh L, Schneider G, Enquist LW, Plitzko JM, Mettenleiter TC, Grünewald K. Structural Basis of Vesicle Formation at the Inner Nuclear Membrane. Cell. 2015 Dec 17;163(7):1692-701.
  • Ball G, Demmerle J, Kaufmann R, Davis I, Dobbie IM, Schermelleh L. SIMcheck: a Toolbox for Successful Super-resolution Structured Illumination Microscopy. Sci Rep. 2015 Nov 3;5:15915.
  • Demmerle J, Wegel E, Schermelleh L, Dobbie IM. Assessing resolution in super-resolution imaging. Methods. (2015) Jul 8. pii: S1046-2023(15)30019-0.
  • Houlard M, Godwin J, Metson J, Lee J, Hirano T, Nasmyth K. (2015). Condensin confers the longitudinal rigidity of chromosomes. Nat Cell Biol. 2015 May 11.
  • Errin Johnson, Elena Seiradake, E. Yvonne Jones, Ilan Davis, Kay Grunewald & Rainer Kaufmann (2015). Correlative in-resin super-resolution and electron microscopy using standard fluorescent proteins. Scientific Reports 5; 9583.


  • Lesterlin C, Ball G, Schermelleh L, Sherratt D. 2014. DRecA bundles mediate homology pairing between distant sisters during DNA break repair. Nature. 506: 249-53.
  • Fleurie A, Lesterlin C, Manuse S, Zhao C, Cluzel C, Lavergne JP, Franz-Wachtel M, Macek B, Combet C, Kuru E, Van Nieuwenhze MS, Brun YV, Sherratt D, Grangeasse C. MapZ marks the division sites and positions FtsZ rings in Streptococcus pneumoniae. Nature. 2014 Nov 26
  • Conduit PT, Richens JH, Wainman A, Holder J, Vicente CC, Pratt MB, Dix CI, Novak ZA, Dobbie IM, Schermelleh L, Raff JW. A molecular mechanism of mitotic centrosome assembly in Drosophila. Elife. 2014 Aug 22;3
  • R. Kaufmann, P. Schellenberger, E. Seiradake, I. Dobbie, E. Y. Jones, I. Davis, C. Hagen, K. Grünewald (2014) Super-Resolution Microscopy using Standard Fluorescent Proteins in Intact Cells under Cryo-Conditions. Nano Letters, 14 (7), 4171-4175.
  • Paul T. Conduit, Zhe Feng, Jennifer H. Richens, Janina Baumbach, Alan Wainman, Suruchi D. Bakshi, Jeroen Dobbelaere, Steven Johnson, Susan M. Lea, and Jordan W. Raff. The Centrosome-Specific Phosphorylation of Cnn by Polo/Plk1 Drives Cnn Scaffold Assembly and Centrosome Maturation. Developmental Cell, 20 March 2014
  • Cerase A, Smeets D, Tang AY, Gdula M, Kraus F, Spivakov M, Moindrot B, Leleu M, Tattermusch A, Demmerle J, Nesterova T, Green C, Otte AP, Schermelleh L, Brockdorff N. 2014. Spatial separation of Xist RNA and polycomb proteins revealed by super-resolution microscopy. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111: 2235-40.


  • Lesterlin C, Ball G, Schermelleh L, Sherratt DJ. RecA bundles mediate homology pairing between distant sisters during DNA break repair. Nature. 2013 Dec 22.
  • Hahn M, Dambacher S, Dulev S, Kuznetsova AY, Eck S, Wörz S, Sadic D, Schulte M, Mallm JP, Maiser A, Debs P, von Melchner H, Leonhardt H, Schermelleh L, Rohr K, Rippe K, Storchova Z, Schotta G. Suv4-20h2 mediates chromatin compaction and is important for cohesin recruitment to heterochromatin. Genes Dev. 2013 Apr 15;27(8):859-72.
  • Uphoff S, Reyes-Lamothe R, Garza de Leon F, Sherratt DJ, Kapanidis AN. Single-molecule DNA repair in live bacteria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 May 14;110(20):8063-8.


  • Badrinarayanan A, Reyes-Lamothe R, Uphoff S, Leake MC, Sherratt DJ. In vivo architecture and action of bacterial structural maintenance of chromosome proteins. Science. 2012 Oct 26;338(6106):528-31.
  • Brown AC, Dobbie IM, Alakoskela JM, Davis I, Davis DM. Super-resolution imaging of remodelled synaptic actin reveals different synergies between NK cell receptors and integrins. Blood. 2012 Sep 10.
  • Roque H, Wainman A, Richens J, Kozyrska K, Franz A, Raff JW. Drosophila Cep135/Bld10 maintains proper centriole structure but is dispensable for cartwheel formation. J Cell Sci. 2012 Sep 12.
  • Dunsch AK, Hammond D, Lloyd J, Schermelleh L, Gruneberg U, Barr FA. Dynein light chain 1 and a spindle-associated adaptor promote dynein asymmetry and spindle orientation. J Cell Biol. 2012 Sep 17;198(6):1039-54. Epub 2012 Sep 10.