Leader, Biomolecular Structure and Function Group
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Measurement of the structure and dynamics of membrane proteins (MPs) in the context of biologically relevant membranes remains one of the greatest challenges in modern structural biology. MPs tightly control material transport into and out of cells, as well as initiate cellular signaling cascades in response to neurotransmitters, hormones, and other environmental factors. As the material and informational gateway to the cell, MPs are the target for ~50% of current FDA-approved drugs, emphasizing their critical importance to the pharmaceutical industry. In this presentation, I will describe efforts within our group to develop and validate robust approaches for functional MP reconstitution in native-like model membrane bilayers and for the advancement of new measurements to assess both structure and function of MPs in these platforms. Potential opportunities for translating functionally reconstituted model membranes into screening and diagnostic platforms will also be discussed.