Gisela Brändén


Department of Chemistry & Molecular Biology
Visiting address
Medicinaregatan 7 B
41390 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 462
40530 Göteborg

About Gisela Brändén

I am a structural biologist/biochemist with experience from pharmaceutical industry. Since 2014, I am leading a research group at the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg.

Research: The focus of my research group is to study the structure, function and dynamics of membrane proteins. We use a combination of different biochemical and biophysical methods to describe proteins in detail as they work, including X-ray crystallography, absorbance spectroscopy, X-ray Scattering and X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) coherent diffractive imaging. We put a lot of effort into development of time resolved synchrotron- and XFEL-based methods, including serial crystallography. Using these methods we investigate the energy converting systems of the cell. Specifically, I am interested in the protein cytochrome c oxidase of the respiratory chain and how it links a redox reaction to the transfer of charges across a biological membrane. I collaborate closely with MAX IV Laboratories on advancing synchrotron-based serial crystallography.

My other area of focus is novel methods for structure-based drug design. In collaboration with AstraZeneca, MAX IV and German partners, we explore the use of serial crystallography in drug discovery. In another collaborative project with AstraZeneca, we study the membrane-bound protein MraY, essential for bacterial cell wall synthesis. As such, MraY is a very interesting target to overcome the acutely developing problem of antibiotic resistance. We describe how MraY interacts with different inhibitors, with the long-term goal to develop novel antibiotic compounds. Finally, my group has a project where we focus on structural studies of the cytochrome P450s, the main drug-metabolizing system in the body.

Link to Google scholar:

Teaching: I am course responsible for our second year biochemistry course KEM060 (15 hec) where I lecture on cell metabolism. In addition, I lecture on structure-based drug design on two of our advanced courses, KEM360 and BIO523.

Other: I am Vice Dean at the Faculty of Science with responsibility for collaboration, innovation and internationalization. I am member of the Vice Chancellor's International Council, and the faculty representative in the University Cooperation Council.

I am actively working to strengthen activities at the University of Gothenburg related to MAX IV, and I am vice chair of the national University Reference Group for MAX IV (URG). I am also elected member of the ESRF Science Advisory Committee.

Group members: Andreas Dunge (PhD student), Owens Uwangue (PhD student), Doris Zoric (PhD student), Jonatan Johannesson (PhD student), Gabrielle Wehlander (masters student)

PhD students to have graduated: Elin Dunevall (2019), Cecilia Safari (2019), Jenny Hering (2020)

Funding: Swedish Research Council, Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research