From Membrane Biophysics to Neuroscience and Experimental Medicine :
MemBioMed : The EMJM International Master in Biomembranes

A programme designed to prepare a future generation of scientists, entrepreneurs and senior executives for a leading role in studying the complex behavior of cellular membranes and exploiting their full therapeutic potential.

What are Biomembranes ?

Besides providing semipermeable barriers, cellular membranes are nature’s most sophisticated biomolecular systems that serve vital roles in biogenic processes, energy conversion, information processing and transport. Consequently, membranes influence nearly every aspect of organismal physiology, making the modulation of membrane-bound molecules a powerful strategy for therapeutic intervention. In fact, drugs that target membrane proteins account for approximately 60% of the international market share of therapeutics.

Why are Biomembranes challenging ?

They form collective assemblies of proteins and lipids that are functional over a wide range of time scales and undergo dynamic changes in composition, physical properties and shape in response to a variety of internal or external cues. The lipids can serve simultaneously as solvents, substrates, and regulatory co-factors for membrane protein activity, and these roles are often entangled and overlapping. Classical approaches of molecular cell biology fall short in addressing the intricate relationships among cellular lipidomes, the physicochemical properties of cellular membranes, and the regulation of membrane proteins by either or both. In the field of nanomedicine, drug delivery systems based on biomembrane-derived nanostructures attract increasing interest for their biomimetic properties and potential for clinical translation.

The future of Biomembranes ?

As biomembrane research will occupy a central position in biomedical science for many decades to come, it is of utmost importance to train young scientists in this specific field. A detailed understanding of the pathways and mechanisms that govern the assembly and proper functioning of cellular membranes requires input from multiple disciplines, notably cell biology, structural biology, pharmacology, (neuro)physiology, (bio)physics, (bio)chemistry, and (bio)informatics.