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Dr. Mikhail Kibalchenko
Dr Mikhail Kibalchenko
2010-2012 TCM Postdoctoral Fellow
2006-2010 TCM PhD Student
Email: mk531 @ cam.ac.uk
Personal web site
During Dr. Kibalchenko’s post-doctoral appointment at the TCM Group he established a collaboration with the Medical Research Council of the UK to study mitochondrial carrier proteins.
The aim was to find computational solutions with which to identify the fundamental transport mechanism of mitochondrial carriers. The mitochondrion is a special compartment of the human cell where components of sugar and fat are broken down to generate energy in the form of ATP. ATP is the chemical fuel used by the rest of the cell to carry out its activities. The mitochondrion is enclosed by a membrane that is impermeable to small organic molecules. Transport across the membrane is carried out by mitochondrial carriers that bind compounds on one side of the membrane and then carry it through the membrane for release on the other side.
Dr. Kibalchenko used quantum mechanical calculations to determine the interaction energy involved in substrate binding to relate it to the interaction energy of salt bridge networks. These networks regulate the access of substrates to the central binding site and are critical for efficient transport. Dr. Kibalchenko discovered that the two networks have equivalent interaction energies, which will optimise the transport rate of substrates across the mitochondrial membrane. At the time of writing experimental methods are being developed to verify these values.
Dr. Kibalchenko determined the motions of the three domains that constitute the mitochondrial carrier. Since none of the available computational methods could be applied, a new iterative computational approach was developed and tried that revealed the basic structural transport mechanism. This finding constitutes a fundamental contribution to the field. In the meantime the mechanism has been verified by experimental work and is the subject of an article intended for publication by a high impact journal.
Dr. Kibalchenko’s PhD research focused on applying first-principles density functional theory calculations in combination with experimental techniques to solve problems ranging from material sciences to biology.
The work of Dr. Kibalchenko on the structural properties of germanium selenide glasses has been extremely important in the area of atomic-scale modeling of disordered materials. By taking advantage of a computational technique giving access to the NMR spectra of solids, Dr. Kibalchenko was able to demonstrate that the structure of these glasses is not compatible with the conjecture of a “phase separation model” put forth by several groups of renowned experimentalists. For the first time, pieces of evidence collected by exploiting sophisticated experimental probes (such as neutron scattering via isotope replacement) were compared to clear-cut numerical data obtained by using fully predictive first-principle techniques. This can be considered as an absolute breakthrough in the area of disordered matter.
In his carbon nanotubes research Dr. Kibalchenko discovered that lambda zero nanotubes respond paramagnetically when a magnetic field is applied along the tube axis, while lambda one and lambda two nanotubes respond diamagnetically. This is important information for nanotube applications as drug delivery vehicles with drug molecules encapsulated inside the tubes, as well as using this information for characterizing nanotubes by measuring the change in the chemical shifts of encapsulated molecules.
For biological applications Dr. Kibalchenko established correlates between 1H chemical shift and chemical shift anisotropy with hydrogen bond length as well as solving the hydrogen bond network between three conflicting proposals for alpha-D-galactose.
- The transport mechanism of the mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Cell Research (2016)
- Inhibiting amyloid β-protein assembly: Size-activity relationships among grape seed-derived polyphenols. Journal of Neurochemistry 135 416 - 430 (2015)
- Structural Composition of First-Neighbor Shells in GeSe2 and GeSe4 Glasses from a First-Principles Analysis of NMR Chemical Shifts J. Phys. Chem. C 115 7755 - 7759 (2011)
- Magnetic response of single-walled carbon nanotubes induced by an external magnetic field. ACS Nano 5 537 - 545 (2011)
- Distinguishing hydrogen bonding networks in alpha-D-galactose using NMR experiments and first principles calculations Chem. Phys. Lett. 498 270 - 276 (2010)
- Structural assignments of NMR chemical shifts in GexSe1-x glasses via first-principles calculations for GeSe2, Ge4Se9, and GeSe crystals Phys. Rev. B 82 020202 (2010)
- First-principles investigation of the relation between structural and NMR parameters in vitreous GeO2. J. Phys. - Condens. Mat. 22 145501 (2010)