Paulo F. Almeida
There are two main research projects in the laboratory. The first project, funded by the NIH, seeks to understand the mechanism of antimicrobial, cytolytic peptides, and cell-penetrating peptides. These peptides interact with the membranes of cells and lipid vesicles, disrupting them. Understanding their function is a first step for the design of new peptides that can be used as antimicrobials or cargo-delivery systems. The second project, funded by Research Corporation, seeks to understand domain formation in lipid membranes in terms of the molecular interactions between lipids, and how they are influenced by proteins and peptides bound or incorporated into the membrane. The main focus are membranes of lipids that are the major components in biological membranes, especially including cholesterol. The results from both projects have been presented at international meetings and published in top professional journals, with master's and undergraduate students as co-authors.