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Introduction to Purdue University Center for Basic and Applied Membrane Sciences (PUBAMS)

More than 30 percent of the human genome codes for membrane proteins. These proteins are responsible for all of the traffic and transport of metabolites and ions across the cell membranes and all of the intracellular membranes. Through this transport and through the maintenance of trans-membrane ion gradients and electrical potentials, membranes regulate the energy level and metabolism of living organisms, from animals and plants to the microbial level. The properties and functions of these proteins are determined by the surrounding lipid environment.

Defects in the structure of membrane proteins, resulting from mutational alterations arising from inheritance or environmental influences are thereby responsible for a multitude of human and animal diseases.

Disease causing viruses are propagated and enter the cell through interaction with the membrane. Neurodegenerative diseases are also triggered or induced by membrane interaction of proteins in particular conformations.

The Purdue University Center for Basic and Applied Membrane Sciences
has been conceived to utilize the expertise of fifty-one faculty members, working collaboratively in twelve different areas of basic and applied membrane sciences to improve our basic biochemical and biophysical understanding of membrane sciences, and to develop applications that are important in medicine, physiology, agriculture and engineering.

Membership: The Center presently includes 45 participants (affiliations).

A number of faculty in the Center with academic appointments in the life sciences area are members of the Membrane Biology group in the Purdue University Life Sciences (PULSe) program.

Steering Committee:
David Thompson:
Present Organizer of Organizers
Department of Chemistry davethom@purdue.edu
Claudio Aguilar:
Department of Biological Sciences raguilar@purdue.edu
William A. Cramer:
Department of Biological Sciences waclab@purdue.edu
Christine Hrycyna:
Department of Chemistry hrycyna@purdue.edu
Cynthia Stauffacher:
Department of Biological Sciences cstauffa@purdue.edu
Val Watts:
Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology wattav@purdue.edu


Areas of Basic and Applied Membrane Sciences

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