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Benoit Roux

Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics


B.Sc. Physics, University of Montreal, 1981 M.Sc. Physics, University of Montreal, 1984 Ph.D. Biophysics, Harvard University, 1990

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Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: (773) 834-3557
Fax: (773) 834-1917

Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: (773) 834-1900

Benoit Roux

Research Summary / Selected Publications

We use theoretical and computational methods to advance our understanding of the structure, dynamics and function of biological macromolecular systems at the atomic level.

We are particularly interested in issues concerning the function of ion channels and other membrane transport proteins such as ion permeation, ion selectivity, and gating. Most of our work on ion channels is computational though we have recently started to add an experimental component to our research with electrophysiological measurements and protein crystallography.

The computational approach called "molecular dynamics" (MD) is central to our work. It consists of constructing detailed atomic models of the macromolecular system and, having described the microscopic forces with a potential function, using Newton's classical equation, F=MA, to literally "simulate" the dynamical motions of all the atoms as a function of time. The calculated trajectory, though an approximation to the real world, provides detailed information about the time course of the atomic motions, which is nearly impossible to access experimentally. We use such all-atom MD simulations to rigorously compute conformational free energies, and binding...


S. Berneche and B. Roux, "Energetics of Ion Conduction through the K+ Channel", Nature 414, 73-77 (2001).  

S.Y. Noskov, S. Berneche and B. Roux, "Control of ion selectivity in potassium channels by electrostatic and dynamic properties of carbonyl ligands", Nature 431, 830-834 (2004).  

H. Yu, S.Y. Noskov, and B. Roux. Two mechanisms of ion selectivity in protein binding sites. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107, 20329-20334 (2010).  

H. Yu, I.M. Ratheal, P. Artigas, and B. Roux. Protonation of key acidic residues is critical for the K-selectivity of the Na/K pump. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 18, 1159-63 (2011).  

B. Chanda, O. K. Asamoah, R. Blunck, B. Roux, F. Bezanilla. "Gating charge displacement in voltage-gated ion channels involves limited transmembrane movement", Nature 436, 852-856 (2005).