Biochemistry - Aquaporins
Hedfalk’s research is directed towards membrane proteins focusing on the water channels integrated in the cellular membrane, aquaporins. By producing large quantities of pure protein in a stable form, she investigates the structure and function of the proteins with the aim of understanding cellular mechanisms.
Aquaporins are present in all living organisms where they regulate water flow and pressure. In humans, there are many connections between diseases and non-functional water channels. By studying the regulation of protein complexes, especially for the aquaporin localised in the brain, Hedfalk wants to shed light on the underlying mechanism for neurological disorders. In addition, there are several biotechnical applications where aquaporins are key components in the development of sustainable filters for water purification.