Lipids and Membrane Biophysics

One of the key challenges in biophysics and chemical biology is gaining an understanding of the underlying physico-chemical basis of the highly complex structure and properties of biomembranes. It used to be thought that the lipid component played a mainly passive role, simply acting as a self-assembled bilayer matrix within which the active protein components functioned. However, it has now become clear that there is a intimate two-way interplay between the lipid and the protein components in determining membrane structure, organization and dynamics, and that lipids play many active roles in biological function. Concepts such as lateral segregation and domain formation, lateral pressure, curvature and curvature elasticity have attracted enormous interest in recent years, although their validity when applied to real biomembranes remains unclear or even obscure.

This Faraday Discussion will consider recent developments in the study of biomembrane structure, ordering and dynamics, with particular emphasis on the roles of lipids in these phenomena. As well as discussing new experimental and theoretical findings and novel methodologies, the meeting will focus on exploring the relevance of concepts from amphiphile

self-assembly and soft matter physics to understanding biomembranes.

Themes
Lipid self-assembly
Structure, ordering and dynamics of membranes
Lateral segregation, trans-bilayer coupling and microdomains
Membrane curvature, micromechanics and fusion
Lipid-protein interactions: two-way coupling
Interactions of signalling lipids and other molecules with membranes
Biomedical and technological applications of lipid membranes
+ show speakers and program
Professor John Nagle (Introductory)
Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Professor Evan Evans (Closing)
Boston University, USA

Dr Olaf Sparre Andersen
Cornell University, USA

Professor Alfred Blume
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

Professor Markus Deserno
Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Professor Dr Reinhard Lipowsky
MPI of Colloids and Interfaces, Germany

Professor David Needham
Duke University, USA

Professor Thomas Schmidt
Leiden Institute of Physics, The Netherlands

Professor Dr Petra Schwille
TU Dresden, Germany

Professor Håkan Wennerström
University of Lund, Sweden

11 Sep - 13 Sep 2012