The Barth lab is interested in how signals are faithfully transmitted across biological membranes. How do receptors sense and respond to diverse ligands? How do receptors communicate with each other in the membrane? How do receptor-receptor interactions modulate signaling? Can we recapitulate these properties by design and rewire signaling pathways?
We address these questions using a combination of molecular modeling, bioinformatics and experimental approaches to model, design and reprogram receptor/ligand interaction networks. Our long-term goal is to deconstruct the complex function and quantitatively describe the basic principles underlying these signaling networks.
We develop an ensemble of physical models and computational methods to model and design receptor structures and interactions. We also combine experimental data with modeling techniques to model specific functional states of receptors. Finally, we cross-validate experimentally the predictions in our own laboratory or in collaborations with experimental research groups.
This interdisciplinary approach is essential to our research and we welcome students and postdocs with computational and experimental backgrounds to continue fostering a very collaborative environment in the lab.