Biophysics of Cellular Transport
The research activities described in the current application are several however all shed light on important aspects regarding the biophysics of membrane interaction and transport: Our aims are to perform: I. Studies on how physico-chemical characteristics of typically small organic drug molecules influences their bioavailability in terms of drug-membrane interactions and permeability. In order for drug molecules to reach their molecular targets they must be transported across e.g. phospholipid bilayer membrane barriers. Detailed computational studies of such transport processes can potentially lead to an understanding about the kinetics and thermodynamics involved thereby helping us to better predict the bioavailability of drugs. II. Studies on the structure and dynamics of proteins in order to understand cellular transport and its consequences for biological function. Light is also shed upon how these macromolecules can regulate cellular transport of nutrients such as ions. In parallel, work will be performed in collaboration with Assistant Professor Thomas Näsström from Uppsala University that will focus on correlations between the structure of alpha-synuclein and its interactions with membranes and consequences for biological function and implications for Parkinson's disease. Thomas has a background in experimental molecular biology. III. Studies concerning general principles and laws of physical chemistry. For example, in one on-going study attention is directed on how the molecular structure of volatile organic compounds influences their dissolution and evaporation from non-ideal liquid mixtures in order to explain molecular factors that explain general physico-chemical behavior of such mixtures. This work will be commenced in collaboration with Associate Professor Ran Friedman at the Linnaeus University which has a background in theoretical biochemistry and deep knowledge and experience in the field of biophysics.