Physics Seminar: Dr Alan Goddard

Date: Wednesday 24th of January 2018, 13:00.
Location: MB1020 (Minerva Building).

‘Cell Membranes in Biotechnology’

by Alan D. Goddard, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.


Biotechnology is currently used to produce an array of useful molecules.  However, many of these molecules are toxic to the cells that produce them.  A neglected area of research is the effect of these molecules on the cell membrane, a challenging region to study because of its hydrophobic nature.  In this seminar I will focus on the production of n-butanol from bacteria, the challenges, our understanding of the effects on the cell membrane, and how modelling can be applied to enhance our molecular knowledge and eventually mitigate this toxicity.  In addition, I will discuss the challenges and potential solutions to producing membrane proteins which are the target of about 50% of current drugs.  I will focus on a new polymer-based system which is relatively poorly understood and could benefit from the application of synergistic modelling studies.  The ultimate aim of this seminar is to share some open questions and hopefully generate some modelling-based solutions.

Image by Manuela Mura

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