Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Firdaus’ research focuses on the cell envelope of Gram-negative bacteria, specifically building a virtual model to understand the structure-function relationship of its molecular components and how they contribute towards protecting the bacteria from antibiotics. His recent work includes studying the molecular interactions between outer membrane protein A (OmpA) and Braun’s lipoprotein (BLP) with peptidoglycan cell wall in atomistic details. OmpA and BLP are two of the most abundant outer membrane proteins in E. coli, and understanding their contribution towards maintaining the integrity of the cell wall is imperative for development of novel antibiotics. Firdaus also built coarse-grain models of the inner membrane and outer membrane held together by the drug efflux pump complex, AcrAB-TolC. This pioneering work will enhance our understanding on protein-induced membrane curvature, lipid enrichment and diffusion, all of which are crucial physical properties of bacterial cell envelope.
This research mainly utilises atomistic and coarse-grain molecular dynamics (MD) simulations along with more advanced computational techniques such as molecular docking, steered MD, and umbrella sampling.
Firdaus completed his DPhil at the University of Oxford in 2015 under the supervision of Prof Mark Sansom and Dr Philip Fowler. The title of his thesis is “Improving Oral Drug Delivery: Computational Studies of Proton-Dependent Oligopeptide Transporters”.
Chorev DS, Baker LA, Wu D, Beilsten-Edmands V, Rouse SL, Zeev-Ben-Mordehai T, Jiko C, Samsudin F, Gerle C, Khalid S, Stewart AG, Matthews SJ, Grunewald K, Robinson CV. (2018) Protein assemblies ejected directly from native membranes yield complexes for mass spectrometry. Science 362, 829-834.
Punekar AS, Samsudin F, Lloyd AJ, Dowson CG, Scott DJ, Khalid S, Roper DI. (2018). The role of the jaw subdomain of peptidoglycan glycosyltransferases for lipid II polymerization. The Cell Surface 2, 54-66.
*Joint first authors
School of Chemistry
University of Southampton
SO17 1 BJ