Divyani Paul

Ph.D. Student

Areas of Interest

Membrane lipids orchestrating important protein-membrane functions like transporting channels, cell signaling and intracellular trafficking lack structural information unlike their protein counterparts. There are well established techniques for studying protein structure, but these are largely lacking for membrane lipids. To complete the missing piece of the puzzle we seek to understand the behavior of membrane lipids at the atomic level. Therefore, the goal is to develop a “toolkit” for solving the structures of these functional lipids. To address this question we study the interactions of membrane proteins with membrane model systems like Nanodiscs and liposomes in real time with the help of surface plasmon resonance and microscale thermophoresis. I am involved in screening a library of membrane proteins which interacts with anionic phospholipids. The library would identify suitable candidates for our collaboratorative studies of the structure and dynamics of membrane lipids in NMR time scale using Solid-State NMR.

Thesis Mentor:  Dr. James Morrissey