Inaugural lecture // Membrane Proteins: from Structure Prediction to Designing Novel Functions


Event details

Date 06.12.2018
Hour 17:1518:15
Speaker Prof. Patrick Barth, Institute of Bioengineering, EPFL
Category Inaugural lectures - Honorary Lecture

The cells that make up our body communicate with their environment through nanoscopic objects called membrane proteins. These proteins reside inside lipid cell membranes, the boundaries that separate the inside of the cell from its outside. Membranes transmit signals and transport molecules that regulate critical cell functions in and out of the cell. Dysfunctions of membrane proteins are associated with numerous diseases and ~60% of current marketed drugs targeted them. Despite their prominent role, membrane proteins have remained very challenging to study experimentally. To address this problem, we have developed an ensemble of computational techniques to predict membrane protein structures and functions, and facilitate experimental investigations. By marrying computation with experiment, we are now discovering the molecular underpinnings of their functions. We also apply these novel principles to design membrane proteins for various applications in synthetic biology and therapeutics.

- Introduction by Prof. A. Oates, IBI Institute Director
- Inaugural Lecture
- Apéritif
Patrick Barth is Associate Professor at EPFL and Adjunct Associate Professor at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA. He received training in Physics and Chemistry (University of Paris, ENS) in France and performed his PhD at the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique in Saclay, France on structure/function studies of membrane proteins (photosystem I) using biochemical and biophysical experimental techniques. He carried out postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley with Tom Alber on computational development for calculating protein electrostatics and designing protein recognition. Barth then went to the University of Washington as a postdoctoral fellow and instructor in David Baker's laboratory to develop computational techniques in the Rosetta software for predicting and designing membrane protein structures. He started his independent career and received tenure at Baylor College of Medicine. At EPFL, he continues to combine theory, computation, and experiment to uncover the molecular principles of signal transduction, and also to design membrane proteins with novel functions for various applications in synthetic biology and therapeutics.

Practical information

  • General public
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  • EPFL School of Life Sciences