The David Van Andel Advanced Cryo-Electron Microscopy Suite
Gongpu Zhao, Ph.D.
Manager, Cryo-EM Core

Gongpu Zhao, Ph.D., joined Van Andel Research Institute in 2016 as manager of the Cryo-EM Suite. He came to Grand Rapids from a postdoctoral fellowship in the Peijun Zhang Laboratory at University of Pittsburgh where, in 2013, he was part of the team that uncovered the structure of the HIV-1 virus’s capsid, the outer “shell” of the virus. Prior to joining the Zhang Laboratory, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the labs of Michael Treacy, Ph.D., and Peter Buseck, Ph.D., at Arizona State University. He earned his Ph.D. in physics in Dr. Lu-chang Qin’s lab from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Huilin Li, Ph.D.
Director, Cryo-EM Core
Chair and Professor, Department of Structural Biology

Huilin Li, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized structural biologist with more than 20 years of experience in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). His current work focuses primarily on the structural basis of DNA replication, the bacterial proteasome system and regulation and modification of the Notch receptor.

Dr. Li earned his Ph.D. in electron crystallography from the University of Science and Technology Beijing, where he trained with the late Prof. K.H. Kuo. He then completed postdoctoral research in the labs of Dr. Bing Jap and Dr. Kenneth Downing at Lawrence-Berkeley National Laboratory, where he studied membrane channels and microtubule structure by cryo-EM. From there, he joined Brookhaven National Laboratory as an associate biophysicist, rising through the ranks to attain a tenured position. In 2010, he joined Stony Brook University as a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology while also maintaining a summer appointment at Brookhaven. He now is chair of Van Andel Institute’s Department of Structural Biology and faculty director of VAI’s Cryo-EM Core.

Xing Meng, Ph.D.
Cryo-Electron Microscopy Core Specialist