PhD Student in Biomolecular Modelling Group

Field: Biophysics

Results of the competition:

As a result of the conducted competition, the competition committee has recommended Michał Michalski for the position.


Project title: Interaction of influenca virus fusion peptides with lipid bilayers, OPUS 15, NCN

Project description:

Influenza is one of the five most lethal infectious diseases faced by humans. One of viable therapeutic strategies is targeting virus entry into host cells, in particular its stage involving the fusion of viral and cellular membranes. In the case of influenza virus, membrane fusion is mediated by a hemagglutinin (HA) protein. It inserts its N-terminal fragments, known as fusion peptides (HAfp), into the target membrane and initiates lipid mixing. Intriguingly, HAfps in the form of synthetic 20 – 23 amino acid long peptides are already able to fuse liposomes without the aid of the entire HA structure. Atomistic details of this process, while crucial for
understanding HA-mediated fusion, remain elusive. In this project we will conduct extensive computer simulations of HAfp-membrane systems in fully atomistic resolution coupled to experimental studies. We will characterize HAfp behavior within lipid bilayers and will attempt to capture early stages of the fusion process. Aside from giving the opportunity to tackle fascinating scientific problems, the project will allow mastering state of the art simulation approaches, including enhanced sampling techniques and free energy methods, providing as well ample room for creative work on novel analysis tools.

For details, please see the attachment or go to:

Deadline: 30/04/2020

Attachment: download

Tags: influenza virus, fusion peptide, molecular dynamics, computer simulations