Bacterial Outer Membranes and Interactions with Membrane Proteins

Bacterial Outer Membranes and Interactions with Membrane Proteins
Wonpil Im, Lehigh University
Date & Time
Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 14:00 to 15:00
Room 385, Geography Building, ECNU | 3663 Zhongshan Road North, Shanghai

The outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria is a unique asymmetric membrane bilayer that is composed of phospholipids in the inner leaflet and lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in the outer leaflet. Its function as a selective barrier is crucial for the survival of bacteria in many distinct environments, and it also renders gram-negative bacteria more resistant to antibiotics than their gram-positive counterparts. LPS comprises three regions: lipid A, core oligosaccharide, and O-antigen polysaccharide. In this talk, I will present our ongoing efforts on understanding various bacterial outer membranes and their interactions with outer membrane proteins, including (1) construction of a model of an E. coli R1 (core) O6 (antigen) LPS molecule using the CHARMM36 lipid and carbohydrate force fields and simulations of various E. coli R1.O6 LPS bilayers; (2) modeling of E. coli R2, R3, R4, and K12 cores and other O-antigens and their bilayer simulations; (3) development of LPS Modeler in CHARMM-GUI; (4) modeling and simulation of E. coli outer membranes with phospholipids in the inner leaflet and LPS in the outer leaflet as well as OmpLA in the outer membrane; (5) modeling and simulation of BamA in the E. coli outer membrane; (6) other ongoing outer membrane - protein simulations.

Wonpil Im received in bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Hanyang University in Seoul. He then earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Cornell University. He did his post-doctoral research at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. In 2005, he was hired as an assistant professor in the Center for Computational Biology and Department of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. In 2011, he was promoted to associate professor and then professor in 2015. In 2016, he joined the Faculty in Departments of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering at Lehigh University, and he has been named the Presidential Endowed Chair in Health - Science and Engineering. Wonpil was recently awarded the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation and was named a KIAS Scholar from the Korea Institute for Advanced Study. Prior to Lehigh, he was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (2007), ACS HP Outstanding Junior Faculty Award (2011), J. Michael Young Undergrad Advisor Award (2011), Meredith Docking Scholar (2013), and University Scholarly Achievement Award (2015).
Research in his lab is focused on the applications of theoretical/computational methods to chemical and physical problems in biology and material sciences. In particular, he is interested in modeling and simulations of biological membranes and associated proteins, glycoconjugates, and protein-ligand (drug) interactions. In addition, his lab has been developing CHARMM-GUI for the biomolecular modeling and simulation community.

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Bi-Weekly Seminar Series by the NYU-ECNU Center for Computational Chemistry at NYU Shanghai
Background Pattern by Jeff Dahl - Own work, GFDL,

Location & Details

Transportation Tips:

  • Taxi Card
  • Metro:  Jinshajiang Road Station, Metro Lines 3/4/13 
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    From ECNU Minhang Campus, Click here