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SEM image of Enterococcus faecalis

Enterococcus faecalis uses fatty acids from humans to not only construct its own membrane but also to alter its sensitivity to membrane damaging agents, including antibiotics (H. Saito, PhD, Fozo Laboratory; Advanced Microscopy and Imaging Center, UTK).

The CoS for Biomembranes brings together scientists from across multiple disciplines to address the challenges that exist in understanding:

  • How biological membranes are formed and maintained
  • How membranes impact essential cellular processes such as signaling, secretion, energy production, and drug delivery
  • How membrane dynamics can impact cellular behaviors relating to infection, cancer, and growth.

The disciplines represented in our group include microbiology, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics, synthetic chemistry, analytical chemistry, computational modeling, and engineering, with interests focused on proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates associated with membranes. Our goal is to bring together these disciplines to help tackle 21st century challenges in understanding biomembranes as well as provide better opportunities for training the next generation of scientists in multidisciplinary approaches to science.


Todd Reynolds at


News and events for the Biomembranes Community of Scholars.