Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley, 2005
(Theoretical Physical Chemistry)
The Maibaum group focuses on the interaction of the cell membrane with other
cellular components. In particular, we are interested in the physical
principles that govern the aggregation of membrane-associated proteins and peptides, and the changes such growing aggregates can induce in the
cell membrane. Using computer simulations and the theoretical framework
of statistical mechanics, we investigate both structural and dynamical
properties of membrane-protein systems that perform important biological
Membrane Sculpting Proteins
Many biological processes, such as cell motility or endocytosis, require deformations of the cellular membrane. Such deformations can be induced, controlled, and sensed by proteins that interact with the membrane in a shape-dependent way. We study the physical principles that determine the conformations and the deformation dynamics of such membrane-protein aggregates.
Cell Penetrating Peptides
Biological cells are protected by their membrane from uncontrolled material exchange with the environment. This barrier can be weakened by a class of peptides that have been shown to cause perforation and other spatial reorganization of membranes and lipid bilayers. We are interested in the mechanisms by which assemblies of such peptides induce pores or other topological transitions in membranes.
A. Pasqua, L. Maibaum, G. Oster, D. A. Fletcher, P. L. Geissler, "Large-scale simulations of fluctuating biological membranes," J.
Chem. Phys. 132, 154107 (2010).
L. Maibaum, "Phase transformation near the classical limit of stability,"
Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 256102 (2008).
A. P. Liu, D. L. Richmond, L. Maibaum, S. Pronk, P. L. Geissler, D. A. Fletcher, "Membrane-induced bundling of actin filaments," Nature
Physics 4, 789 (2008).