Dr. Cristina Paulino


Assistant Professor in High-Resolution Cryo Electron Microscopy

Our home website: https://paulinolab.com

Research Interest:
Cristina Paulino did her undergraduates and PhD in biochemistry and biophysics and became an expert in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM).  The Paulino Lab is focused on elucidating the mechanism of action of membrane transporters (secondary- and primary-active) and channels on a molecular level. Although of high pharmacological relevance (> 60% of current drugs target membrane proteins), how their three-dimensional structure relates to their function and vice-versa is poorly understood and requires an interdisciplinary approach at the interface of biology, chemistry and physics. To address these questions, we employ cryo-electron microscopy and contrast our findings with comprehensive functional studies. Projects in our group are driven by the fundamental question of how membrane transporters work: how does the protein architecture translate into function; what is the exact mechanism of action during translocation of compounds from one side of the membrane to the other; how are they regulated; how is malfunction related to a disease? Over the past years, we have gained a particular interest in membrane transport proteins that fall out-of-the-box, challenging the conceptual boundaries present when classifying transport mechanisms into merely primary-active transporters, secondary-active transporters, or channels. It is becoming increasingly evident that in the course of evolution conserved protein architectures not only evolved from one another but can merge together to adapt to different environmental and cellular requirements.
  • Cryo-EM (structural biology)
  • Membrane protein structure and function
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
Additional activities:
  • Board member of The Netherlands Electron Microscopy Infrastructure (NEMI)
  • Board member of the Netherlands Centre for Electron Nanoscopy (NeCEN)


List of publications on Pubmed
Social networks:



E-mail: c.paulino at rug.nl (Please replace at with @)
Telephone RUG: +31 50 36 33402