Skip to content
Main menu hidden.

Image: Tobias Sparrman

Gerhard Gröbner Lab

Research group Our group uses NMR methods to understand the function of biological membranes and their proteins and their role in various diseases.

More or less every biological process continues via membranes and their constituents. However, understanding the function of these biological membranes – everything from the basic properties of their lipid matrix to the complex activity of the proteins – is one of the most challenging tasks in bioscience.

Our group uses an interdisciplinary approach involving biophysical, biochemical and structural biological techniques centred on NMR spectroscopy and neutron reflection to break down the molecular principles and determinants that govern mitochondrial membrane function.

Cancer research

Specifically, we study important aspects of the interaction between membranes and the Bcl-2 protein family to regulate programmed cell death (apoptosis). In the long run, our goal is to shed fundamentally new light on the molecular mechanism by which cell-protecting Bcl-2 proteins function in a membrane environment and open up new avenues for innovative cancer drugs against these proteins.

Infection biology research

Within the field of infection, together with Thomas Borén and Anna Arnqvist, we are investigating lipid-based bacterial membranes and proteins on Helicobacter pylori which causes chronic gastric flu and stomach ulcers. In addition, together with Sun Nyunt Wai, we are studying how microbes such as Vibrio cholerae use lipid membranes and specific proteins to infect host cells and cause various infectious diseases.

Head of research


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Chemistry

Research area

Cancer, Chemical sciences, Infection biology
Associate Professor Elin Chorell - member of the scientific committee pictured here during a discussion session with one of the presenters.
The world metabolomics community gathers in the North

Metabolomics is a growing field within life science - 120 scientists from all over the world gathered in Umeå.

Inauguration of unique NMR that determines the structure of insoluble materials

The event is commemorated with a one-day symposium on 16 November with invited international speakers.

New insight into cell-killing proteins

Neutron reflectometry gives new understanding of how a protein that removes damaged cells in the body works.

Latest update: 2023-02-28