Guest speak by Prof. Atul N. Parikh – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Guest speak by Prof. Atul N. Parikh

Materials Science of Biological and Biomimetic Membranes

Considerable evidence now supports the notion that membrane lipids play an important role in the dynamic assembly and disassembly of many functional machines at cellular surfaces.

From the vantage point of materials science, this spatial and temporal mode of molecular organization challenges the view that thermodynamic equilibrium determines structure-function relations. Rather, it inspires a shift from thermodynamic to kinetic regimes, characterized by structual and energetic landscapes. Within this framework, this talk will illustrate som materials science based approaches that enable fundamental inquiries of how membrane heterogeneity and dynamics couple, how this interplay influences the biological function, and how it can be manipulated toward contemporary goals of synthetic biology. Examples are drawn from the effort aimed at designing various classes of model membranes that recapitulate compartmentalized diffusion, physical curvatures, interfacial interactions, and domain organization in model membranes and their relevance to a generic function of programmed cell death.

Guest speak by Atul N. Parikh, UC Davis