Research Field

The long-term scientific goal of DSIMB team is to elucidate the mechanisms governing important functions of proteins of the red blood cell (RBC) membrane, using information from protein structure and dynamics. Both membrane protein structure and dynamics determine RBC function, but they are difficult to characterize experimentally. Our expertise in structural bioinformatics and molecular simulations enables us to tackle both aspects: the prediction of 3D protein structures and the exploration of their dynamics.
Part of our activity is devoted to the development of methodologies to characterize membrane systems. We also apply those methodologies to specific cases of interest for our unit and for GR-Ex. We consider with particular interest systems relevant for diseases studied by GR-Ex members, and we plan to contribute to the design of drugs able to interfere with the disease mechanisms.
The central theme of membrane systems will be organised in two main work groups, reflecting the different expertise in our team. The first work group (WG1: Structural Bioinformatics) will aim at predicting structural and functional properties of membrane proteins from sequence. The second work group (WG2: Computational Biophysics) will aim at elucidating dynamics and thermodynamics properties starting from 3D structures. The interconnection between both WGs is obvious. Indeed, in the absence of experimental structures, WG2 will require structural data from WG1. On the other hand, WG1 will benefit from molecular simulation techniques to work on new structures that could correspond to different conformational and functional states. In each work group, part of the work will focus on method development, as detailed below. Applications will concern mainly the collaborations already engaged, i.e. within our unit, with teams in GR-Ex, and with colleagues involved in already funded (ANR) projects.
More information are available on the dedicated page of the team website : here