Center for Membrane Biosciences

Center for Membrane Biosciences (CMB)

Mission Statement

  • to conduct nationally and internationally recognized membrane research
  • to increase research visibility and funding to reinforce the educational infrastructure
  • to foster interactions between the IU School of Science and the IU School of Medicine, and to provide new opportunities for urban and underrepresented student bases at IU Indianapolis

Distinctive Features

  • membrane-related research is at the forefront of challenges in modern biology, presenting some of the greatest problems in structural determination and functional characterization
  • membranes are at the cutting-edge of current biomedical research because they are a common site of action for molecular functions involved in health and disease
  • the presence of a strong, diverse biological membrane focus and specialized facilities are unique to the IU Indianapolis campus


Robert Minto, Ph.D., Director

Associate Professor, Chemistry & Chemical Biology

The core of our research efforts is the isolation and characterization of novel desaturase and acetylenase genes from plants and club fungi (Basidiomycetes). Structure/function studies of this class of enzymes and the development of chemical probes will provide insight into a critical area of biochemistry, unsaturated fatty acid metabolism, as well as uncover pathways to an expansive array of bioactive acetylenic natural products.

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Stephen Randall, Ph.D., Co-Director

Professor, Biology

My laboratory uses biochemistry and molecular genetics to characterize molecular mechanisms by which plants respond and adapt to environmental stresses such as cold and drought conditions. Thus we are conducting proteomic and genetic analysis to identify cellular components important for these processes.

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Stephen Wassall, Ph.D., Co-Director

Professor, Physics

The research in my laboratory is focused upon the application of solid state NMR techniques to the study of molecular organization within membranes. The objective is to develop relationships between the structure of biologically important molecules and their physiological function.

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