Biozentrum, University of Basel
Klingelbergstrasse 50/70
CH-4056 Basel / Switzerland

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Biozentrum Lecture: Transport across the cell membrane

The cell membrane is permeable to many small molecules, including ions. However, they often have to be transported into or out of the cell against the concentration gradient. This does not happen by itself. This task is performed by specific membrane transport proteins. In the coming “Biozentrum Lecture” on June 5th, 2018, Prof. Poul Nissen will focus on P-type ATPases, which actively pump ions across the cell membrane.

Protein biochemist Prof. Poul Nissen.

Poul Nissen is a Professor of Protein Biochemistry at Aarhus University in Denmark and Director of DANDRITE, the Danish node of the Nordic-EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine in Aarhus. In the upcoming Biozentrum Lecture, he will present his latest research findings and provide insights into the structure and dynamics of ion pumps embedded in the cell membrane.

Membrane transport: How small molecules pass the cell membrane

The membrane of a cell is a natural barrier to the environment and, at the same time, the door to the world. Membrane proteins are responsible for signal transduction and the transport of substances and molecules. In the human, there are up to 10,000 of these proteins. A very large and diverse family of membrane transporters are the so-called P-type ATPases. They use the energy molecule ATP to pump specific ions across the cell membrane. In the brain, Na+, K+- and Ca2+-ATPases play an important role in ion homeostasis. As P-type ATPases regulate vital processes, their malfunction is linked to a range of diseases.

By combining various techniques such as membrane protein crystallography, molecular dynamics simulations and modelling, Poul Nissen's group has gained new insights into the mechanistic concepts and function of P-type ATPase ion pumps. 

Protein biochemist to speak at the Biozentrum Lecture

Poul Nissen received his PhD from Aarhus University. After postdoctoral studies on ribosomes at Yale University (USA), he returned to Aarhus University to set up his own research group and, in 2006, he became Professor of Protein Biochemistry. Poul Nissen has been awarded several prizes, including the Aminoff Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2016 and the Novo Nordisk Prize 2017. He is also an elected member of the renowned European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

On 5 June 2018, Prof. Poul Nissen will give a presentation, as part of the "Biozentrum Lectures" series launched in 2009. The lecture starts at 5:15 pm and will take place in Lecture Hall 1 of the Pharmazentrum. After the lecture, the attendees will have the opportunity to discuss with Poul Nissen in person. The Biozentrum Lecture is open to all interested persons.

Communications, Katrin Bühler