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.
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.