P.-L. Chau Ph.D.

Chau, P.-L.
Position Department / Business Unit
Bioinformatique Structurale
Institution Disciplines
Institut Pasteur Chemistry
City State / Provence
Country Website
France link
+33 1 45688719

Dr. Chau's research interests currently include: ligand-gated ion channels, membranes, and ligand-receptor interactions

Virtually all biochemical processes involve the interaction of one molecular entity with another. This recognition involves the combination of three major factors: (1) the steric shapes of the ligand and receptor molecules which determine whether they fit each other; (2) the complementarity of their respective electric charge distribution, whereby a positive region on one molecule is matched by a negative region on another; and (3) the promotion of this recognition by water solvent molecules through improving the steric fit or electrostatic complementarity, or inducing hydrophobic parts of the molecules to come together by water exclusion.

My research aims to establish how steric, electrostatic and hydration effects together determine the interaction of ligands with their receptors, using experimental and theoretical methods. Within the field of molecular recognition, I have a special interest in the interaction between ligands and membranes, and also between ligands and pentameric ligand-gated ion channels. This research project is highly multi-disciplinary, requiring expertise in techniques from modelling and simulations to neutron reflectometry. I am leading this interdisciplinary effort, and am collaborating with a number of research groups from different countries.

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