Principal Investigator Marion Jasnin
The Cryoskeleton Lab


Our group uses in situ cryo-electron tomography methodologies, including correlative cryo-focused ion beam milling sample preparation and image processing to reveal actin architectures directly inside the native cellular environment. We explore the diversity of actin structures involved in invasion, including podosomes (Jasnin et al. Nat Commun 2022), invadopodia, and other actin-propelled membrane protrusions, as well as in cell contractility (Burbaum, Schneider et al. Nat Commun 2021). We develop computational tools for in-cell structural analysis of actin organization. For all these exciting projects, we collaborate with international teams of biologists, biophysicists and biochemists to combine structural, molecular, cellular and theoretical approaches. 

Our aims

To understand how actin, a small globular protein, and its associated cytoskeletal proteins can build a spectacular variety of complex filamentous structures inside cells, in order to advance our understanding of cell biology and disease mechanisms.

Current grants

DFG – ANR-DFG French-German call for joint projects in natural, life and engineering sciences
MIC Cancer Inserm – ITMO Aviesan call

Collaborative Projects

  • Macrophage podosomes – In collaboration with Renaud Poincloux / IPBS and Mira Krendel / SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • Multiscale modeling of invadosome force sensing – In collaboration with Matthieu Chavent and Renaud Poincloux / IPBS, Serge Dmitrieff and Antoine Jégou / Institut Jacques Monod, and Jean-Philip Piquemal / Sorbonne University
  • Tumor cell invadopodia – In collaboration with Philippe Chavrier / Institut Curie
  • Cell-cell fusion – In collaboration with Elizabeth Chen / UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Deep learning-based segmentation tools – In collaboration with Tingying Peng / Helmholtz AI
  • Synthetic cell division – In collaboration with Petra Schwille / Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry

Dr. Marion Jasnin

Principal investigator, Cryoskeleton Lab

Marion received her PhD in Biophysics from Joseph Fourier University in 2007 under Professor Giuseppe Zaccai, where she exploited neutron scattering to explore water dynamics and macromolecular motions directly inside living cells. Her early postdoctoral work in the Department of Professor Wolfgang Baumeister at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry was supported by two postdoctoral fellowships (EMBO and Marie Curie fellowships, 2011-2013), and the award of an HFSP Program Grant (2016-2021) gave her the opportunity to start her own subgroup. With Renaud Poincloux / IPBS, she then obtained an ANR-DFG grant (cryoAdhesome, 2020-2024) to establish podosomes as a model system for structure-function analysis of the actin cytoskeleton in a cellular system that has direct implications for in vivo function, such as during bone turnover, tissue and cancer invasion. She also recently built a consortium with teams from the Institut Jacques-Monod, LPTMS and Sorbonne University to model podosome mechanics from the molecular scale up to the mesoscale, and were awarded an MIC grant (2020-2023). In 2022, she joined the Helmholtz Pioneer Campus as a Principal Investigator.


Dr. Marion Jasnin

Google Scholar

Principal Investigator – Helmholtz Pioneer Campus, Helmholtz Munich

Project Group Leader – Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry

Postdoc (Wolfgang Baumeister) – Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry

Postdoc (Giuseppe Zaccai) – Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL)

Graduate Student (Giuseppe Zaccai and Moevea Tehei) – Institut de Biologie Structurale (IBS)

Master Student (Daniel Riveline) – Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Physique (LIPhy)

Student Intern (Nils O. Petersen) – Western University, Department of Chemistry


PhD in Biophysics – Joseph Fourier University, Department of Physics

MSc in Materials Physics – Joseph Fourier University, Department of Physics

Diplôme National d’Ingénieur in Physics – Grenoble INP - Phelma


Participation in an HFSP Program Grant (Grant number RGP0035/2016)

Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (Grant number 273192)

EMBO Long-Term Fellowship (Grant number 1099-2010)

ILL Postdoctoral Fellowship

Graduate Research Fellowship from the French Ministry of Education
Grenoble INP Graduate Lecturer Fellowship

Joseph Fourier University Masters Scholarship


ANR-DFG NLE 2020 – Individual Research Grant (CryoAdhesome, Grant number JA-3038/2-1)

ITMO Cancer Aviesan call 2020 – Participation in an MIC Grant (Multiscale Modelling of Invadosome Force Sensing)


Software Scientist

Brice Beinsteiner

PhD in Structural Biology, Strasbourg University
Focus: Image processing, cryo-FIB/cryo-ET
PhD Thesis: "Origin and evolution of nuclear receptors and structural study of the first steroid, ERR"

PhD Students

Jonathan Schneider


MSc in Biochemistry, LMU Munich
Focus: Subtomogram averaging, polarity analysis
Master Thesis: "The molecular architecture of human macrophage podosomes studied by cryo-electron tomography"

Thomas Drexler


MSc in Biophysics, Technical University Munich
Focus: Image analysis, cryo-FIB/cryo-ET
Master Thesis: "Cyclic linear transport and directed motion in DNA Origami Devices"

Ye Liu

MSc in Mathematics, Technical University Munich
Focus: Deep learning, image analysis
Master Thesis: "Multi-modality microscopy image style transfer for nuclei segmentation"
Ye Liu is a joint PhD student between Tingying Peng's Helmholtz AI group and Marion Jasnin's HPC group

Amelie Niedermeier

MSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Bayreuth 
Focus: cryo-FIB/cryo-ET
Master Thesis: "Functional and structural characterization of the modulation of human sirtuins 3 and 5 by small molecules"

Master Student

Christina Correll


BSc in Biology, LMU Munich
Focus: 3D-correlative FIB milling
Bachelor Thesis: "The role of high-resolution electron microscopy in times of Corona and Ebola"

Lab Manager

Martin Warmer


BTA Biological Technician
Focus Lab organization, Light- and Electron Imaging

Selected Publications

Molecular-scale visualization of sarcomere contraction within native cardiomyocytes

Laura Burbaum, Jonathan Schneider, Sarah Scholze, Ralph T Böttcher, Wolfgang Baumeister, Petra Schwille,  Jürgen M Plitzko, Marion Jasnin, Nat Commun. 12:4086

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Elasticity of podosome actin networks produces nanonewton protrusive forces

Marion Jasnin, Jordan Hervy, Stéphanie Balor, Anaïs Bouissou, Amsha Proag, Raphaël Voituriez, Jonathan Schneider, Thomas Mangeat, Isabelle Maridonneau-Parini, Wolfgang Baumeister, Serge Dmitrieff, Renaud Poincloux. Nat Commun. 13:3842

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Capturing actin assemblies in cells using in situ cryo-electron tomography

Jonathan Schneider, Marion Jasnin, Eur J Cell Biol. 101:151224

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Three-dimensional organization of the cytoskeleton: A cryo-electron tomography perspective

Saikat Chakraborty, Marion Jasnin, Wolfgang Baumeister, Protein Sci. 29:1302-20

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The architecture of traveling actin waves revealed by cryo-electron tomography

Marion Jasnin, Florian Beck, Mary Ecke, Yoshiyuki Fukuda, Antonio Martinez-Sanchez, Wolfgang Baumeister, Günther Gerisch, Structure. 27:1211-23.e5

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Reversible membrane pearling in live cells upon destruction of the actin cortex

Doris Heinrich, Mary Ecke, Marion Jasnin, Ulrike Engel, Günther Gerisch, Biophys J. 106:1079-91

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Three-dimensional architecture of actin filaments in Listeria monocytogenes comet tails

Marion Jasnin, Shoh Asano, Edith Gouin, Reiner Hegerl, Jürgen M Plitzko, Elizabeth Villa, Pascale Cossart, Wolfgang Baumeister, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 10:20521-6

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Contact us

HPC contact Jasnin



Helmholtz Pioneer Campus
Helmholtz Zentrum München
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH)

Ingolstädter Landstr. 1
85764 Neuherberg