Computational Microscopy and Biological Membranes

Mohsen Ramezanpour (Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary)
Monday, 95/02/13 (May 2, 2016), 15:30

Cell membranes are of particular importance in cell biology, nanotechnology and pharmaceutical applications. They are composed of lipids and proteins which interact in a highly regulated manner. The lipid composition and lipid-protein interactions govern the physicochemical properties of lipid bilayers, and eventually their specialized role in different cell types and processes, e.g. drug uptake. Despite the sophisticated experimental techniques, there is still much to be discovered about the complicated behaviour of and underlying interactions in biomembranes. Computer simulation as complementary technique to experiments is capable of providing detailed information at a high level of resolution, which is not readily achievable via experiments. This level of resolution provides a way for interpreting experimental data, better understanding of dominant factors in observed phenomena, clarifying the role of each component in the system, and consequently in rational design of therapeutics. In this presentation, first, I will give an introduction to molecular dynamics simulation and the MARTINI coarse-grained force field. Then, I will briefly discuss ongoing projects in our group, with a focus on lipid-based drug delivery systems for gene therapy. Finally, I will introduce other active computational groups in Centre for Molecular Simulation (CMS).