UCL Ear Institute


Dr Anwen Bullen

Anwen Bowen

Dr Anwen Bullen manages the UCL Ear Institute microscopy facility, providing research support and training in microscopy and image analysis for internal and external projects and users. The microscopy facility has transmission and scanning electron microscopes which support 2D and 3D election microscopy, and multiple light microscope systems, including enhanced resolution microscopy using Zeiss airyscan. The facility supports multiple EM, LM and correlative techniques. 

Examples of recent projects Dr Bullen has collaborated on include:

•    Structural characterisation of inner ear cells by 3D electron microscopy
•    Examination of pathological changes to the inner ear due to noise, ageing, genetic changes and ototoxic drugs by light and electron microscopy
•    Correlative microscopy for subcellular localisation of protein targets
•    Light and electron microscopy of tissue, cell and bacterial samples
•    Freeze fracture characterisation of medicinal products


Dr Anwen Bullen first used EM during during PhD, using cryo-EM, to analyse different methods of production of outer membrane vesicles, structures that form the basis of the new generation of vaccines against meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria.  A sideways leap led Dr Bullen to developing cryo-preservation methods and 3D electron microscopy techniques for inner ear tissue, with particular interest in the examination of hair cells by volume electron microscopy (VEM).  After 12 months dividing the time between managing the UCL EI facilities and running the Bioimaging Unit at NIBSC (part of the UK Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority), Dr Bullen now manages the EI microscopy facility full time, collaborating on multiple research projects with EI and external researchers.
BSc (Hons) Biochemistry, University College London
MSc Molecular Medicine, Imperial College London
PhD Molecular Biosciences, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) (Open University).

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