Photo of Prof Christian Soeller

Prof Christian Soeller

Chair in Physical Cell Biology


Telephone: 01392 726608

Extension: (Streatham) 6608

Living Systems Institute

I have recently joined the newly openend Living Systems Institute which focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to predictive biology in health and disease. I am also the academic lead of the Biomedical Physics Group at the School of Physics and Astronomy.

Research Themes

High resolution biomedical fluorescence imaging

My laboratory works in the areas of Biophotonics and Biophysics with a strong focus on imaging based methods. We use fluorescence microscopy, functional fluorescence imaging and quantitative three-dimensional image analysis and enhancement techniques. Optical super-resolution methods (STORM/PALM) play an increasingly important role in our work and we both develop new methodologies and apply super-resolution imaging to solve biological questions. Applications include the study of cellular and sub-cellular signaling in a variety of tissues with a particular emphasis on cardiac calcium handling, neuronal signaling and morphology as well as signaling and transport in other mammalian tissues.

Optical Super-resolution Imaging

Our research is strongly technology driven and adoption as well as further development of the latest imaging methods is a major thrust to enable qualitatively new insight. A current emphasis is on non-diffraction limited optical microscopy methods known as "super-resolution imaging" that promise resolution down to the nanometre level with the specificity and high contrast of fluorescent labelling. These nanometer resolution optical methods are motivated by the wish to clarify the structural and functional changes underlying biological signaling changes in various pathologies such as cardio-myopathies.

Quantiative Image Analysis and Mathematical Modelling

To investigate the quantitative biophysics of calcium signalling I also use quantiative image analysis and mathematical modeling. This work is primarily motivated by my interest in cardiac calcium dynamics and excitation-contraction coupling. The modeling studies that I conduct help elucidate sub-cellular signaling at the smallest (molecular) scales and complement the experimental research. A particular focus is placed on the calcium signaling in the cardiac dyad, a prototypical nano-domain where many proteins interact within tightly confined compartments.

Cardiac and Skeletal Muscle Biophysics

All of our work is directly motivated by the goal to improve our knowledge of the biophysics and physiology of specific biological systems. The primary focus of our work is cardiac muscle with an additional interest in skeletal muscle. A unifying theme of our work is the relationship between nanoscale cell morphology and contractile function. Our staff therefore is experienced in handling cardiac and skeletal muscle tissues and cells in addition to their expertise in state-of-the-art imaging methods. We use fluorescence based techniques as described above with live and fixed muscle preparations. Our general goal is to improve our understanding of excitation-contraction coupling, i.e. the signalling and control cascades that begin with the electrical membrane excitation (action potential) and result in the calcium transient that ultimately activates the contractile machinery.

Selected Publications (complete and upto-date list at Google Scholar)
  • 2012. Soeller C, Baddeley D. Super-resolution imaging of EC coupling protein distribution in the heart. J Mol Cell Cardiol. doi:10.1016/j.yjmcc.2012.11.0042012.
  • 2012. Jayasinghe, I. D., Baddeley, D., Kong, C. H. T., Wehrens, X. H. T., Cannell, M. B., & Soeller, C. Nanoscale Organization of Junctophilin-2 and Ryanodine Receptors within Peripheral Couplings of Rat Ventricular Cardiomyocytes. Biophysical Journal, 102, L19–L21. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2012.01.034
  • 2011. D. Baddeley, D. Crossman, S. Rossberger, J. E. Cheyne, J. M. Montgomery, I. D. Jayasinghe, C. Cremer, M. B. Cannell, C. Soeller. 4D Super-Resolution Microscopy with Conventional Fluorophores and Single Wavelength Excitation in Optically Thick Cells and Tissues. PLoS ONE 6:e20645. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020645.
  • 2011. D. Baddeley, M. B. Cannell and C. Soeller. Three dimensional sub-100 nm super-resolution imaging of biological samples using a phase ramp in the objective pupil. Nano Research, 4:589–598. doi: 10.1007/s12274-12011-10115-z.
  • 2010. P. Li, W. Wei, X. Cai, C. Soeller, M.B. Cannell and A.V. Holden. Computational modelling of the initiation and development of spontaneous intracellular Ca2+ waves in ventricular myocytes. Philos Transact A, 368, 3953-65.
  • 2010. David Baddeley, Mark B. Cannell and C. Soeller. Visualisation of Localisation Microscopy Data. Microscopy & Microanalysis, 16, 64-72.
  • 2009. David Baddeley, Isuru D. Jayasinghe, Leo Lam, Sabrina Rossberger, Mark B. Cannell & Christian Soeller. Optical single channel resolution imaging of the ryanodine receptor distribution in rat cardiac myocytes. PNAS, 106, 22275-80.
  • 2009. I. D. Jayasinghe, M. B. Cannell, C. Soeller. Organization of ryanodine receptors, transverse tubules and sodium-calcium exchanger in rat myocytes. Biophysical Journal, 97, 2664-2673.
  • 2009. D. Baddeley, I. D. Jayasinghe, C. Cremer, M. B. Cannell, and C. Soeller. Light-induced dark states of organic fluochromes enable 30 nm resolution imaging in standard media. Biophysical Journal, 96, L22-24.
  • 2009. C. Soeller, Jayasinghe ID, Li P, Holden AV, Cannell MB. 3D high resolution imaging of cardiac proteins to construct models of intracellular Ca2+ signalling. Exp. Physiol. doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.2008.043976.
  • 2007. C. Soeller, R. Gilbert, D. Crossman, M. B. Cannell. Analysis of RyR clusters in Rat and Human Cardiac Myocytes. PNAS, 104, 14958-63.