Biological membranes exhibit a wide variety of shapes associated with particular functions. These give rise to the complex and beautiful forms observed within cells and their organelles. Our group is interested in the fundamental molecular principles that lead to these shapes. We study the effects that membrane proteins have on membrane structures. We are also interested in the effects that different membrane morphologies have on the distribution and localization of membrane proteins into clusters and micro-domains. Taking a multi-disciplinary approach, we use model membranes to reconstitute the structure and function of organelles in vitro and then correlate these results with in vivo imaging techniques.
One class of membrane proteins we are particularly interested in are ion-channels. Ion-channels cover a large variety of different molecular functions. Well-studied examples are protein translocases, potassium channels and bacterial pore forming toxins. We use biochemical and biophysical approaches to study the function and regulation of ion-channels on a single molecule level.