Khanh Huy Bui works in anatomy and cell biology. More specifically, he investigates the molecular architecture of the cilium – a hair-like structure that is attached to the surface of almost all cells in the human body, responsible for sensory reception and mucociliary clearance. Defects in cilia cause numerous diseases and developmental disorders, including chronic respiratory infection, obesity, blindness and intellectual disability.
The function of the cilium is challenging to understand because it is one of the most complicated but orderly built organelles in the cell, composed of more than 500 unique protein molecules. Most of these unique proteins’ functions and locations are unknown. Research in the Bui lab attempts to solve this molecular puzzle. Using a combination of cryo-electron microscopy, proteomics and molecular genetics, the team tries to create the molecular map of all the ciliary proteins at near-atomic resolution, in order to infer how its architecture allows its intricate motility and complex regulation. In addition, Bui and his research team use correlative light and electron microscopy to look at the assembly process of the cilium, a dynamic process which is not amenable to traditional structural techniques.
Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Cryo-Electron Tomography
AusAID Undergraduate Scholarship
Ichikawa, M. et al. "Subnanometre-resolution structure of the doublet microtubule reveals new classes of microtubule-associated proteins." Nature Comms 8: (2017).
von Appen, A. et al. "In situ structural analysis of the human nuclear pore complex." Nature 526 (2015): 140–43.
Bui, K.H. et al. "Integrated structural analysis of the human nuclear pore complex scaffold." Cell 155 (2013): 1233-1243.