Welcome to the Bublitz Lab website

The Bublitz Lab (aka MBU-Lab) is a research group at the University of Oxford, led by Associate Prof. Maike Bublitz.
We study proteins that are embedded in the plasma membrane of pathogenic (disease-causing) fungi and bacteria.
The plasma membrane, the surrounding layer of all living cells, functions as a physical and chemical barrier between the cell’s cytosol and the “outside world”, and the membrane proteins within it are in control of what goes in and out:


Cryo-EM structure of Pma1 from Neurospora crassa. Animation image prepared in Blender (thanks to Anthony Cheuk, Imperial College London)

Defined concentration gradients of ions and other molecules across the plasma membrane are constantly generated and maintained by certain classes of membrane transport proteins, while others exploit the energy stored in such gradients for so-called secondary transport processes.
Membrane proteins are fascinating molecular nanomachines that accomplish thermodynamically challenging tasks, often with very high specificity for their respective substrate.
Our research aims at understanding, how the biological function of membrane transport proteins is encoded in their molecular structure.
Understanding this structure-function relationship in membrane proteins from pathogenic organisms is often the basis for the development of new drugs.