From the Biophysics of Red Blood Cells to Covid-19 Vaccines
Mar 31, 2023
2:30PM to 3:30PM
Date(s) - 31/03/2023
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Dr. Sebastian Himbert
Postdoctoral research fellow, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University
The goal of my research is to study and control processes in cell membranes on a molecular level. We use biophysical, quantitative techniques, such as neutron and x-ray diffraction, Molecular Dynamics computer simulations and dielectric spectroscopy in combination with techniques from biochemistry and molecular biology. We study properties of cell membranes, and their interaction with proteins. In collaboration with our start-up company Synth-Med Biotechnology Inc. and clinical partners, we are developing smart, red blood cell-based therapeutics against infectious and neurological diseases.
Dr. Sebastian Himbert is a postdoctoral research fellow at McMaster University and the CTO and Co-founder of Synth-Med Biotechnology Inc.
He started is academic career with an undergraduate and master’s degree at the Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany under the supervision of Dr. Christian Wagner. A collaboration during his graduate studies led him to join the lab of Dr. Maikel Rheinstadter at McMaster University, where he obtained a PhD in 2022.
In his current research, Dr. Himbert uses fundamental biophysical research to develop new technological applications for advanced biomaterials. He focuses on the molecular structure of red blood cell membranes which he studies using X-ray and neutron scattering experiments in combination with Molecular Dynamics simulations. The insight into the molecular assembly of these membranes led to the development of novel techniques that allow the tuning and manipulation of this endogenous biomaterial. Importantly, these so-called hybrid membranes can be used against Covid-19, for the specific delivery of antibiotics as well as drug carriers against neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.
In 2020, Dr. Himbert co-founded Synth-Med Biotechnology Inc. with Dr. Maikel Rheinstadter, which is pursuing the commercialization of the developed technologies.
Dr. Himbert currently holds the H.G. Thode fellowship. His research is additionally supported by Suncor for which he investigates the effect of light-active antibiotics and by philanthropists Solina Chau and Li Ka Shing
In-Person: ABB 102