Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics Lab
Welcome to the Baumgart lab. We are interested in the molecular function of lipid bilayer membranes and of membrane proteins. We study the coupling between local membrane shape and the binding of peripheral proteins, peptides, and colloidal particles, in order to understand fundamental cellular membrane processes such as endocytosis, and to improve drug delivery techniques. We also examine membrane associated enzymes that chemically modify lipid molecules to understand signaling phenomena that these lipids mediate. We combine experimental techniques (spanning molecular cloning, protein purification and characterization, in vitro membrane systems, and cell culture, examined by a host of analytical tools) with molecular dynamics simulations and analytical theory. Our group members typically have diverse backgrounds and interests, spanning physical and biological chemistry, biophysics, and chemical and biomolecular engineering disciplines.