The role of cholesterol and lipid composition in drug / membrane interactions

Many therapeutic drugs are relatively large hydrophobic molecules that also carry a net charge at physiological pH. In many cases, these compounds can enter the cell by spontaneously partitioning into phospholipid bilayer of the cell membrane. The precise chemical composition of the phospholipids in the cell membrane varies between organisms, and even between different organelles of the same cell, influencing the dynamics of drug / membrane interactions. This project examines the underlying physical basis of the interaction of drugs and chemotherapeutic agents with the cell membrane using molecular dynamics simulation techniques. The aim is to identify which region of the cell membrane different drugs partition into and how they modulate membrane function.