Harald Bernsteiner

Supervisor: Anna Weinzinger, University of Vienna

Co-Supervisor: Gerhard Ecker,  University of Vienna


Title of the project: Atomistic insight into function and dysfunction of inward-rectifier potassium channels.

Finishing Date: 06.12.2019

Research topic of the student: During the last few years, structural biologists have published coordinates of various physiologically important potassium channels, for example hERG, hEAG and different Kir (inwardly rectifying potassium) channels. My research topic is to investigate the gating mechanism of these ion channels by using computational methods such as Molecular dynamics simulations. I mainly focus on studying how alterations in the protein structure of wild type and disease mutant channels influence ion conduction. Furthermore, I am interested in how different Kir channel family members are modulated by membrane lipids and accessory proteins in a distinct way, despite their high structural similarity. During my research stay abroad, I learned how to experimentally measure ionic currents in different Kir channels and how to introduce mutations by myself, which is important to test my computational predictions.

Publications:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

Research stays abroad16.02.-19.05.2017, Host: Colin NICHOLS, Washington University St. Louis, US. Topic: „Electrophysiology of wild type and mutant inwardly rectifying potassium channels (Kir2.1, KATP) – investigation of polyamine and drug block; site-directed mutagenesis (Molecular Biology)”

Lab Rotation (2 weeks): Host: Chris Oostenbrink, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Subject: GROMOS and free energy c alculation; 2017.

Place after Graduation: Clinical Assessor for Safety & Efficacy in the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety since 11/2019

 Abstract of the PhD thesis

 Alumni brochure contribution by Harald Bernsteiner