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Thermodynamic modeling of ion transport

hosted by Ursula Kummer

  04:00 PM
  Seminar Room 41 & online


Ion transport plays a vital role in the regulation of many cellular processes, especially those related to membranes. We developed a generalized thermodynamic description of the complex interplay of plasma membrane ion transporters, membrane potential and the consumption of energy for maintaining and restoring specific intracellular ion concentrations. Here, the fundamental principles of thermodynamics, including entropy production and energy conservation, are used to describe the dynamics of ions in the system. We show that well-parameterized models based on experimental data can serve predicting relevant phenomena and explain observations. We discuss applications of the approach, namely to the cation homeostasis in yeast and to the regulation of ion fluxes between the red blood cell and the parasite Plasmodium falciparum during a malaria infection.


Edda Klipp is full professor for Theoretical Biophysics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She received a doctoral degree in theoretical biophysics from Humboldt-Universtität zu Berlin in 1994. She worked as junior group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, where she focused on modeling cellular stress response and growth control. Klipp’s research interests lie in the area of systems biology, with a focus on mathematical modeling and simulation of complex biological systems. She has made significant contributions to the development of computational models of metabolism, signal transduction, and gene regulation, with a particular emphasis on the analysis of the dynamics and control of these systems. In 2009 she was awarded an honorary doctor of Göteborg University. 2015 she was awarded the Caroline-von-Humboldt professorship at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. In addition to her research activities, Klipp is also actively involved in the promotion of science education and outreach, and she has served as a mentor for many young scientists in the field of systems biology.