School of Life Sciences

Thorpe Lab

I am a biological electron microscopist by training and am responsible for the electron microscopy facilities within the 'Sussex Centre for Advanced Microscopy' in the School of Life Sciences. As this is a Central Service Facility, there is a wide variety of research projects ongoing at any given time and I thus collaborate extensively with my colleagues and their research teams and students and with those of some other Schools here at Sussex, and with some external researchers.

Electron microscopy within Life Sciences comprises both transmission (TEM) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) facilities:

The TEM is a Hitachi-7100, with an accelerating voltage range of 25-125kV (0.204nm lattice/0.45nm particle resolution), for the ultrastructural examination of thin sections and particulate (biological and materials) samples. Images are acquired digitally via an axially-mounted (2K X 2K pixel) Gatan Ultrascan 1000 CCD camera. Additionally, there is a Leica Ultracut ultramicrotome and a range of associated cryo-preparative instrumentation associated with this TEM.



Rough Endoplasmic ReticulumRough Endoplasmic Reticulum










The SEM is a Leo S420 stereoscan, with an accelerating voltage range of 1-30kV (c. 5nm resolution), for the ultrastructural examination of the surface features and morphology of biological and materials samples. Digital images can be acquired via the collection of both secondary and backscattered electrons from the samples. Additionally, there are associated cryo-SEM preparative and X-ray detection facilities, for the examination of frozen, hydrated samples and analysis of the elemental composition of samples, respectively.

Fruitfly HeadFruitfly Head


Hair Cells in the CochleaHair Cells of the Cochlea


My own particular research expertise is the use of immunogold labelling TEM approaches to elucidate the precise subcellular localisations/re-localisations/co-localisations and statuses of proteins-of-interest to gain insights into their roles in normal and diseased cells and tissues.


Beta-Amyloid Plaque in Alzheimer's Disease BrainBeta-Amyloid Labelling of a Plaque in an Alzheimer's Disease Brain


Dr Julian Thorpe


Electron Microscopy

Sussex Centre for Advanced Microscopy

Life Sciences

University of Sussex

John Maynard Smith Building
Brighton, BN1 9QG


Telephone  +44 (0)1273 887585