Our research is focused on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of membrane proteins. This protein class is essential for signal transduction and the transfer of proteins and small molecules across the biological membrane barrier. The key to understanding these processes is to study these systems in a native environment provided by a phospholipid bilayer. Therefore, the lab is developing phospholipid nanodiscs, a novel membrane mimic for structural studies.
These membrane mimics are being developed and established in the lab and subsequently applied to biologically interesting systems like mitochondrial membrane proteins, G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and their associated G-proteins, which are involved in metabolic diseases, neurological disorders and cancer. We are investigating the structure, dynamics and molecular interactions between membrane proteins and their partners using mainly multidimensional NMR spectroscopy, but also electron microscopy, X-ray crystallography and a variety of other biophysical and biochemical methods.