Susan M. Lea, D.Phil., F.Med.Sci.

Susan M. Lea, D.Phil., F.Med.Sci.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute


Susan Lea is an internationally renowned structural biologist who has pioneered the use of mixed structural methods to study host-pathogen interactions and other medically important molecular pathways. Her laboratory uses and develops cutting-edge structural methods including cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography to define molecular mechanisms involved in health and disease states.

Areas of Expertise

Bacterial Pathogenesis
Immune Regulation and Evasion
Protein Secretion
Cryo-Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Crystallography


Selected Recent Publications

Structures of the stator complex that drives rotation of the bacterial flagellum

Deme JC, Johnson S, Vickery O, Aron A, Monkhouse H, Griffiths T, James RH, Berks BC, Coulton JW, Stansfeld PJ, Lea SM.
Nat Microbiol. 5(12): 1553-1564, 2020. [ Journal Article ]

Symmetry mismatch in the MS-ring of the bacterial flagellar rotor explains the structural coordination of secretion and rotation

Johnson S, Fong YH, Deme JC, Furlong EJ, Kuhlen L, Lea SM.
Nat Microbiol. 5(7): 966-975, 2020. [ Journal Article ]

The substrate specificity switch FlhB assembles onto the export gate to regulate type three secretion

Kuhlen L, Johnson S, Zeitler A, Bäurle S, Deme JC, Caesar JJE, Debo R, Fisher J, Wagner S, Lea SM.
Nat Commun. 11(1): 1296, 2020. [ Journal Article ]

Type 9 secretion system structures reveal a new protein transport mechanism

Lauber F, Deme JC, Lea SM, Berks BC.
Nature. 564(7734): 77-82, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

Structural Basis for Mitotic Centrosome Assembly in Flies

Feng Z, Caballe A, Wainman A, Johnson S, Haensele AFM, Cottee MA, Conduit PT, Lea SM, Raff JW.
Cell. 169(6): 1078-1089, 2017. [ Journal Article ]

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Staff Scientist
Joseph Caesar, Ph.D.
Photo of Justin Deme
Staff Scientist
Justin Deme, Ph.D.
Photo of Steven Johnson
Staff Scientist
Steven Johnson, Ph.D.
Photo of Mary Johnson
Postdoctoral Fellow
Mary Johnson, Ph.D.
Photos of Owain Bryant
Postdoctoral Fellow
Owain Bryant, Ph.D.
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Post Baccalaureate
Natalia Mauricio
Post Baccalaureate
Luz Alfaro-Alvarado
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Thomas Griffiths


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