Imperial College London: Fundamentals and Applications of Lipid Membrane Biophysics

Dates: 22nd-24th September 2015

Location: Horsley Park (Ockham Road South, East Horsley, KT24 6DT)



Lipid membranes are the basic building blocks for almost all living organisms. For years numerous reports have been focused on this area to establish a comprehensive understanding of membrane structures. More recently, the development of modern experimental techniques, such as small-angle X-ray scattering, small-angle neutron scattering and cyro-TEM, provides more powerful tools for this study. In addition to experimental study, theoretical models and computational simulations also contribute to broadening the scope of this field. The fundamental study of lipid membranes facilitates technical applications, for instance, designing drug carriers which can be transferred across membranes. To facilitate interdisciplinary co-orporations, it is necessary to organise lectures for researchers with different backgrounds but having the same interests in lipid membranes.

The lectures will focus on fundamentals and applications of lipid membranes with deep insights into the membrane biophysics. This will include an understanding of elasticity, membrane dynamics, phases and energetics and basic knowledge of measurement and simulation techniques. In addition, this topic will be extended to some practical applications which involve the interactions between nano-objects and lipid membranes. Such applications include drug delivery into the cell, cryo-preservation and toxicological response. The lectures will be given by experts in these areas, including some Investigators from within the SNAL network.


  • All PhD students and postdocs are welcome to join these lectures.
  • No registration fee is required. (The accommodation fee is to be covered by each delegate, £220 pp).
  • The course will be held at Horsley Park, a splendid hotel within easy reach of London with picturesque views and modern facilities.
  • The maximum number of attendees is 100 (due to the capacity of the venue).

22nd September

9:00-12:00   Delegates arrival

12:00-13:30 Lunch and registration/ PIs management meeting

13:30-14:30 Continuum Theory of Lipid Membranes
Dr. Halim Kusumaatmaja, Durham University

14:30-15:30 Small-angle X-ray Scattering from Membranes
Dr. Nick Brooks, Imperial College London

15:30-16:00 Coffee Break

16:00-17:00 Determining of membrane properties using Neutron methods: SANS and Neutron Reflectivity
Dr. Ian Tucker, Unilever

17:00-18:00 Applications of Lipid Membrane Biophysics: Personal Care and Skin
Dr. Massimo Noro, Unilever

18:00-20:00  Poster Session*/ PIs management meeting

20:00-22:00 Formal Dinner


23rd September

9:00-10:00 From membrane biology to membrane physics
Dr. Pietro Cicuta, University of Cambridge

10:00-11:00 The MechanoChemistry of Lipid Bilayer Membranes 
Prof. David Needham, University of Southern Denmark

11:00-11:30 Coffee Break

11:30-12:30 Simulation of Lipid Membranes
Dr. Miguel Angel Gonzalez Gonzalez, Imperial College London

12:30-14:00 Lunch / PIs management meeting

14:00-15:00 Applications of Lipid Membrane Biophysics: Drug Delivery
Prof. Nigel Slater, University of Cambridge

15:00-16:00 Applications – Preservation of Red Blood Cells: Where Membrane Complexity and Physicochemical Process Dynamics Meet
Dr. Kevin Ward, Biopharma

16:00-18:00 Short research update presentations

18:00-20:00 Delegates activity / PIs management meeting

20:00-22:00 Dinner, Social event


24th September

8:00-10:00 Breakfast and greetings


*Posters will be shown in the hotel hall throughout the course. Discussions and brainstormings are strongly encouraged.


The registration-deadline is 24th May. Sorry, registration has been closed.

 Organized by

  • Prof. John M. Seddon, Imperial College London
  • Prof. Fernando Bresme, Imperial College London
  • Dr. Rongjun Chen, Imperial College London

Local Organizing committee:

Anna Sofia Tascini,  Shiqi Wang and James Carter

Anna Sofia Tascini

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