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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

Upcoming Meetings

On April 16 at 2 p.m., the Biomembranes Community of Scholars will host the following speakers:

Madison Oehler from Doug Hayes’ lab in Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science (BESS) at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture will present, “Encapsulation of antimicrobial peptides in bicontinuous microemulsion-based delivery systems.”

Shushu Wei from Rajan Lamichhane’s lab in Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCMB) in the College of Arts and Sciences will present, “A2AAdenosine Receptor Conformational Dynamics Revealed by Single-Molecule Fluorescence.”

Contact Diana Moyer ( for a zoom link.

Past Meetings

Friday, October 16, 2020:

  • Bill McClintick from Pat Collier’s lab (ORNL/CBE)
  • Nick Panchy from Tian Hong’s lab (BCMB)
  • Brandon Reagan from Tessa Burch-Smith’s lab (BCMB)

Friday, September 18, 2020:

  • Alex Overholt from Elena Sphak’s lab (BCMB)
  • Bill McClintick from Pat Collier’s lab (ORNL)


News and events for the Biomembranes Community of Scholars.