We are pleased to present Dr Evelyne Deplazes to speak on An integrative approach to characterise membrane-altering peptides

Date: Thursday, 17 March

Time: 12 - 1pm

Venue: AIBN Level 1 Seminar Room and Online Via Zoom

Click here to access the free seminar.



Pore-forming and membrane-altering peptides and proteins have evolved independently several times to perform a range of biological functions. Examples include antimicrobial peptides, bacterial toxins and viroporins. Many of these peptides self-assembles into oligomeric, membrane-embedded pores. Due to their small size, dynamic nature and the presence of a membrane, these pores are challenging to characterise using structural biology approaches.
In this seminar, I will use two selected projects to illustrate how we combine MD simulations, tethered lipid bilayer membranes (tBLM/EIS) in conjunction with electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and other biophysical chemistry experiments to characterise the structure, ion and lipid selectivity of oligomeric pores and other membrane-altering peptides.  
The first project focuses on GALA, a pH-responsive, pore-forming peptide designed to facilitate endosomal drug release. We demonstrate that tBLM/EIS experiments can provide both ion selectivity and estimates on pore size. This information can be used to validate pores with different oligomeric sizes predicted from MD simulations1. For the second project, I present data from an ongoing project that combines tBLM/EIS and MD simulations to elucidate the ergosterol-selective synergy between the antifungal drug amphotericin B and a membrane-active peptide derived from Lactoferrin. 

1.       Deplazes, E.; Hartmann, L. M.; Cranfield, C. G.; Garcia, A., Structural Characterization of a Cation-Selective, Self-Assembled Peptide Pore in Planar Phospholipid Bilayers. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2020, 11 (19), 8152-8156.


Presenter: Dr Evelyne Deplazes Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland and an Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney

Dr Evelyne Deplazes is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland and an Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney.
After completing a double degree in Chemistry and Computer Science at Curtin University, Perth, Dr Deplazes received her PhD in computational biophysics from the University of Western Australia in 2012. She then carried out postdoctoral work at the University of Queensland and Curtin University, funded by early-career fellowships from the Swiss National Science Foundation and the NHMRC. In 2019, she started her independent research group as a Chancellor’s Research Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney. She now continues her research at the University of Queensland after taking up a position as Senior Lecturer in 2021.
Her lab combines molecular simulations and biophysical chemistry experiments to study how small molecules and peptides interact with biological membranes and membrane proteins, with a particular focus on pore-forming and membrane-disrupting peptides. Dr Deplazes aims to develop the knowledge and tools to assist pharmaceutical development and understand fundamental processes such as membrane permeation or pore formation.

Apart from her research, Dr Deplazes is passionate about teaching the next generation of scientists to be 'critical thinkers' and is an advocate for more open discussion about Mental Health issues in academia.


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About AIBN Seminar Series

The AIBN Seminar series showcases a range of seminars across different topics and disciplines