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Flexible strings model: microscopic model of lipid membranes

Модель гибких струн: микроскопическая модель липидных мембран

All living organisms consists of cells. Cells are separated from each other by lipid membranes. Lipid membranes could be viewed as a sea in which proteins drift. Proteins carry many import biological functions, which depends on the properties and state of the lipid membrane.

Lipid membranes could be studied within the theory of elasticity. In a nutshell, the theory splits given membrane conformation into three fundamental deformations: splay, twist and bend. Each deformation is described with a formula. Each formula has it macroscopic coefficient to be determined from experiment.

If one knows the coefficients of deformations, one can calculate its energy. And by comparing energies of various conformations one can conclude on which is most favorable. This way some experimentally observed data can be explained: for example the size of lipid rafts — domains enriched with cholesterol. Theory can also suggest new phenomena and experiments should be performed to check if its true.

If some experimental fact can not be explained within a theory — it means that not all is taken into account, or on the contrary — some thing which is acconted for has no place in reality. Any way it doesn't make theory of elasticity applied to lipid membranes less important and beautiful science.

Working within elasticity theory on our Department is characterized distinguished with collaboration with experimantalists and scientists working in the field of computer simulation.

The overall knowledge of lipid membranes defines the way drug developers think of the problems, which of course affects how they try to solve issues such as how to disfunct given protein, or facilitate the membrane fusion.

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Education: Graduated from Moscow Physics and Technology Institute, Moscow, Russia  1979 Diploma with distinction (cum laude) Qualification: Condensed Matter Master Thesis: "Spin-glasses with nonmagnetic defects: low temperature thermodynamics and ESR theory", Avisor : Prof. A.A. Abrikosov Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Moscow, Russia, 1979 Ph.D. Thesis: "Kinetic and galvanomagnetic properties of quasi-one-dimensional compounds with conducting chains running in two directions", Avisor : Prof. A.A. Abrikosov Moscow Institute for Steel and Alloys, Moscow, Russia 1982 Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences: “Kinetic and thermodynamic properties of strongly correlated lightly doped quasi 2D antiferromagnets”, Moscow Institute for Steel and Alloys, Moscow, Russia 1999 Professor in Theoretical Physics Moscow Institute for Steel and Alloys, Moscow, Russia 2002 Research interests: quantum order parameter and quantum phase transitions, nonequilibrium quantum mechanics; thermodynamics of biomembranes and semiflexible polymers; phase transitions in strongly correlated electron systems, incl. high-temperature superconducting cuprates and multiferroics; electronic properties of metal nanoclusters.

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