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Gisela Brändén


Department of Chemistry & Molecular
Visiting address
Medicinaregatan 9C
41390 Göteborg
Room number
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, and together with AstraZeneca we are interested in exploring the use of serial crystallography in drug discovery.

My other area of focus is structure-based drug design. In collaboration 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. In another project 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 responsible for outreach at the department (see…) and vice chair of the Committee for Collaboration, Innovation and Internationalisation at the Faculty of Science. I am also member of the Docent Board for the faculty.

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).

Group members: Andreas Dunge (doktorand), Owens Uwangue (doktorand), Doris Zoric (doktorand), Jonatan Johannesson (doktorand), Cindy Phan (masters student), Emma Henriksson (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