MD simulations of influenza M1 multimerization during membrane binding

PI: Thomas Weikl, Salvatore Chiantia || Requires: Physics, Chemistry, Statistical physics
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Influenza is a prominent cause of mortality and a major burden on health systems today. The infection is caused by the influenza virus, which consists of a lipid envelope with three embedded membrane proteins, and a scaffold below this envelope that is formed by the matrix protein M1 (see Figure 1). Recent experiments indicate that multimerization of M1 during binding to cell membranes plays a central role for virus assembly in infected cells. However, the precise mechanism of M1 multimerization and its role in virus replication are not yet fully understood.

In this project, you will investigate the binding of M1 to membranes and the multimerization of M1 at membranes with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. You will perform extensive simulations on graphics processing units (GPUs) and analyze the simulation data with kinetic network models. In close collaboration with experimentalists, your simulation results will contribute to a deeper understanding of influenza virus assembly.

M.Sc. in physical or chemical sciences, knowledge of statistical physics.
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