The role of proteins on fusion and fission: computer simulation of coarse-grained models

The aim of the project consists in investigating the mechanism, the structure and thermodynamics of transition states in protein-mediated collective processes that alter the membrane topology. Within the framework of coarse-grained models of lipids and proteins, we will employ advanced free-energy techniques and devise continuum models to study how pathways and rates depend on membrane tension and geometry as well as on the molecular architecture of lipids and proteins in order to identify conditions that facilitate fusion or fission.