During my PhD in 2000-2003, with Professor Jean-Pierre Hansen, I carried out Molecular Dynamics simulations of a simple model for a biological ion channel. This model consists of a nanoscale pore in a smooth membrane separating two reservoirs of water. Our simulations revealed the existence of a wetting transition; the system switches stochastically between states in which the pore is filled with water and empty. In further work we computed the free energy landscape for this transition. Since our work, this phenomenon has been found to be an important mechanism for "gating" of real ion channels. I was also involved in work to investigate the effect of applying an electric field across a membrane channel, and the development of kinetic models to describe ion transport through pores.
Here is a great 3 minute video of our PhD student Freya Bull describing her research modelling bacterial infection of a urinary catheter!
We are searching for a part-time computer systems administrator for our group in Jena. Please contact us if you are interested!
Welcome to Ariane Zander who has joined us as a technician in our lab!