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Multiscale simulation approaches for probing biomolecular phase behaviour

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Speaker: Dr. Jerelle A. Joseph Research Fellow, King’s College Cambridge, invited by Dr. Luke Davis
Event date: Tuesday, 29 March 2022 04:00 pm - 05:00 pm
Place: Campus Limpertsberg, Bâtiment des Sciences, BS 0.03

Physics meets Biology Hybrid Seminar


The interior of cells contains numerous components that need to be carefully organised in space to fulfil a wide range of biological functions. The most widespread form of intracellular compartments completely lack membranes. In the place of membranes, these compartments—so called biomolecular condensates—are sustained and segregated in space by the physical chemistry of liquid–liquid phase separation. Complementary to experiments, molecular modelling and simulations have surfaced as powerful tools for providing us with the missing close-up views to understand the modulation of biomolecular phase behaviour. In this talk, I will describe the use of multiscale simulations to shed light on the molecular forces underlying biomolecular phase separation and account for salt-mediated reentrant phase transitions observed experimentally. I will explain how our simulations reveal distinctly different molecular driving forces stabilising condensates in the low and high-salt regime, highlighting that these interactions are not only dictated by the amino acid sequence but also crucially altered by the condensate environment. I will also discuss current efforts at developing transferable computer models that can predict biomolecular phase boundaries with quantitative accuracy.

About the speaker:

Jerelle Joseph obtained her BSc in Mathematics and Chemistry and an MPhil in Chemistry from the University of the West Indies in Barbados. She then completed a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, as a Gates Cambridge Scholar, in the group of Prof David Wales. She is currently a Research Fellow in Physical and Chemical Sciences at King’s College in Cambridge and works in the group of Dr. Rosana Collepardo. Her research focuses on developing multiscale computational approaches to investigate cellular compartmentalisation via liquid-liquid phase separation.

Data: 2022-03-29_Physics meets Biology_Hybrid Seminar_Jerelle A Joseph.pdf 211.63 kB