Speaker: Dr. Syma Khalid, University of Oxford

Title: Computational Microbiology of Bacterial Cell Envelopes: Successes, Limitations and Scope for Collaborations


Bacterial cell envelopes are compositionally complex, crowded and while highly dynamic in some areas their molecular motion is very limited, to the point of being almost  static in others, therefore it is no real surprise that studying them at high resolution across a range of temporal and spatial scales requires a number of different techniques. Details at atomistic to molecular scales for up to tens of microseconds is now within range for molecular dynamics simulations. We are using both atomistic and more coarse-grained models to explore (a) the routes via which small molecules and antimicrobial peptides permeate across bacterial membranes and (b) the organisation of bacterial membranes in terms of the arrangement of proteins and lipids. The insights from both of these areas are combined into a continuously developing molecular level picture of the cell envelope of Gram-negative bacteria. However to provide a more complete picture, integration of more mesoscale phenomena via collaborative work would be a distinctive advantage. Given the threat we face from antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such the insights provided from such a multiscale approach will be important for future development of therapeutic strategies against pathogenic bacteria.


A reception will follow in the IDA Promenade immediately after the event.

162 5th Avenue
Ingrid Daubechies Auditorium/2-IDA