The research profile of the


scientific research group

Molecular biophysics of biomembrane-associated live processes with relevance to human health and quality of life

Biomembranes are the smart barriers of life, and biomembrane-associated life processes are our main research directions:

Common in these studies is the role of the physical and chemical state of protein-lipid interface in regulating membrane proteins or proteins functionally associated with biomembranes. The above topics are of strong bio-medical relevance. We also participate in numerous collaborative projects related to photosynthesis, agriculture and environment protection, such as the study free radicals, biomembranes, lipid-based drug-delivery formulas, soluble and membrane proteins, food products and waste-water cleaning filters. Due our unique research infrastructure and extensive collaborations, we are among the top as concern scientific impact per unit funding.

State-of-the-art spectroscopy yields unprecedented spatial (down to atomic) and temporal (down to femtosecond) details even in native systems. Our unique spectroscopy-based molecular biophysics suite of methods are the core parts of the new Outstanding Research Infrastructure (ORI, KKI in Hungarian) titled "Integrated Paramagnetic Resonance and Optical Multi-Dimensional Bio-Spectroscopy" (iPRO-MD-BioSpec). With this integrated multi-modal approach, spectra can be recorded in a systematic way and a wealth of data is obtained in the form of a multi-dimensional matrix. The high information content of this data can be analysed with artificial intelligence (AI) to fingerprint certain relevant physiological states of any biological system. The concept, vision, components, access and other detailes are described on the iPRO-MD-BioSpec page. Our objective is to gain functionally relevant data on structure and dynamics of biomolecules. We use localised and transient spectroscopy to tune into the spatial location and time window of native molecular events in biomembranes and membrane-associate proteins. The combination of experimental molecular data with bioinformatics, artificial intelligence (AI) and molecular mechanics/dynamics is very powerful, and allows us to build atomistic and physical models of the native biomolecules and understand their mechanism of action. Our main technique is (site-directed) spin-labelling and spin-trapping electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy (we have the best X-band continuous wave and pulsed EPR spectrometer in Central- and East Europe). We also have a very well equipped modular spectrofluorimeter and Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer to study native or attached fluorescent groups and molecular vibrations, respectively, in biomolecules. These techniques are combined with reaction-triggering techniques for studying kinetics. Phase transitions are studied with our differential scanning calorimeter. We also have a computer cluster for the theoretical work including bioinformatics, machine learning (neuronal network) and molecular modelling. Essentially, our approach is functional structure biology.

We have a popular science, public outreach channel on youtube and a facebook profile.