Spatial organization of complex lipid bilayers: Emergent order across multiple scales

Seminar: Physical Chemistry | February 13 | 4-5 p.m. | 120 Latimer Hall

 Lutz Maibaum, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

 College of Chemistry

Cellular membranes are bilayers made of a large number of different types of phospholipids, sterols, and proteins. Their spatial organization is of fundamental importance for a large number of elementary biological processes including cell signaling and membrane trafficking. It has become clear that phospholipids and sterols contribute significantly to the lateral structure of such membranes. The order that emerges from their interactions spans multiple length scales, which necessitates the use of a wide range of models to study membrane organization with computational methods. In this talk I present our principal discoveries of membrane structure across multiple scales, including new aspects of the condensing effect of cholesterol, the rich phase behavior of multicomponent bilayers, and the effect of membrane fluctuations on protein interactions.

 Light refreshments will be served at 3:50 at The Coffee Lab, 510-643-0572