AIME is supported by the Research England (RE) Expanding Excellence in England (E3) Programme. Our RE E3 award provides £10 million to synergistically combine world-leading expertise in membrane biology and novel polymer chemistries to establish a first-of-its-kind institute, expanding our distinctive excellence in computational membrane science, membrane structural determination and sustainable polymers research. No other institute in the global research and innovation landscape has the platform, potential or promise for major breakthroughs that AIME heralds.

AIME’s Research:

Biological membranes are essential for all life, while synthetic membranes seek to mimic biological membrane properties to separate substances. As membranes are incredibly complex, current research typically focuses on their individual components. For example, all top-ten-selling human medicines worldwide target proteins embedded within biological membranes (global annual sales exceed $100 billion), while synthetic polymer membranes are used routinely in water purification (annually, clean water costs >$100 billion). AIME research will exploit the full potential of membranes, offering a holistic approach bridging biology, physics, and chemistry.

AIME Research Themes:

Membrane proteins and their interactions with lipids

Membrane proteins form the majority of drug targets and hence are extremely important to study. Many drug discovery and validation processes require expression and purification of high quantities of pure membrane proteins, which represents a significant challenge. AIME are experts in expression and purification of challenging membrane proteins from all classes for a range of downstream applications. We are already using our expertise to address unmet clinical needs.

Polymers for studying and applying membrane proteins

Membrane proteins naturally exist in a hydrophobic lipid environment. To extract them from this and make them soluble in aqueous environments has traditionally required small molecule detergents. However, this approach has detrimental effects on both the structure and stability of the membrane protein, as well as stripping away vital lipids that modulate membrane protein activity. AIME has been at the heart of developing, applying and understanding the use of novel polymers to extract membrane proteins directly from their native environments, retaining lipids, stability and activity. 

Lipidic nanoparticles and artificial structures

AIME members have a strong portfolio of studying a wide range of lipidic nanoparticles from naturally occurring extracellular vesicles and lipoprotein particles to synthetic liposomes and lipid discs. We use these not only as tools to understand membrane and lipid activity, but to develop novel therapeutics and delivery methods for medicines.

Lipidomic analysis

We have state-of-the-art mass spectrometry facilities which, coupled to biochemical and biophysical approaches, allows us to study the lipidomes of cells from mammalian to microbes. We have interests in the effect of oxidised lipids in health and disease and the effect that stresses have on the cellular lipidomes.

Media

New research institute for Aston University

The founding members of Aston University’s newest research institute have recorded a new podcast to introduce themselves, their research and the plans for Aston Institute of Membrane Excellence (AIME).

In this episode of Aston Originals, Professor Roslyn Bill and Professor Paul Topham, AIME’s co-directors, joined Dr Matt Derry and Dr Alan Goddard to explain how the interdisciplinary team formed and how they will work together.

 

 

AIME: Brains, dishwashers and dementia

In this latest episode of Aston Originals, Professor Roslyn Bill, co-founder of Aston Institute for Membrane Excellence (AIME), joins Dr Matt Derry to discuss her research into brain cell membranes and more.

 

The Team

Recruitment

The newly established Aston Institute for Membrane Excellence (AIME) is a unique, interdisciplinary, intersectoral research and training hub for translational membrane science. AIME is supported by a £10M grant from the Research England Expanding Excellence in England (E3) Programme and will synergistically combine world-leading expertise in membrane biology and novel polymer chemistries to establish a first-of-its-kind institute, expanding our distinctive excellence in computational membrane science, membrane biophysics and sustainable polymer research. Over the next five years, we will recruit 20 new colleagues to expand our new Institute.

We are now recruiting three academics, six tenure-tracked fellows, a Laboratory Manager and an Institute Manager (internal applicants only) to AIME. As an AIME academic, you will have the opportunity to build on your established or emerging leadership in computational membrane science, membrane biophysics or sustainable polymer research. As a fellow, you will establish your independence in our supportive and world-leading interdisciplinary environment. The AIME Laboratory Manager will oversee the enabling environment in which colleagues will deliver their research. The Institute Manager will be responsible for the operations management across the administrative and research activity of the Institute.

Apply here

Contact Us

For any general enquiries, please email Paul Knobbs

 

Research England