Alexander Schlaich Strengthens International Research Collaboration with University of Bergen

June 6, 2024

SimTech at the University of Stuttgart continues to enhance its research capabilities through a longstanding strategic collaboration with the University of Bergen. This partnership has been recently invigorated by SimTech junior research group leader Alexander Schlaich, who leads a team in Multiscale Materials Modeling. Schlaich’s group focuses on developing multiscale methods to understand and predict the behavior of materials based on the molecular level. Recently awarded the prestigious Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities Prize 2024, Schlaich is recognized for his innovative contributions to materials science.

Collaboration on Advanced Modeling of NMR Relaxation Spectra

During a recent workshop, Schlaich met with his former colleague Markus Miettinen from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bergen. Together, they plan to collaborate on the advanced modeling of NMR relaxation spectra, a crucial area in biomolecular research. The modeling of NMR relaxation spectra involves understanding how atomic nuclei in a magnetic field return to equilibrium after being disturbed. This process provides detailed insights into the molecular dynamics and structures of complex biomolecules, such as proteins and lipid membranes. High-fidelity simulations of these spectra are essential for accurate predictions and understanding of biomolecular behavior.

Expertise in High-Fidelity Simulations of Lipid Membranes

Markus Miettinen and his team are globally recognized for their high-fidelity simulations of lipid membranes. By combining their knowledge, Schlaich and Miettinen aim to further develop this research area. A bilateral exchange of the research groups is planned to evaluate the accuracy of coarse-grained models in predicting structural and dynamic properties. These models are especially valuable to SimTech research groups, including that of Kristyna Pluhackova. The necessary reverse coarse-graining approaches are already in development, leveraging machine learning techniques with Mathias Niepert among others.

Importance of International Cooperation

The collaboration highlights the importance of international cooperation in advancing scientific research. The strategic agreement between the University of Stuttgart and the University of Bergen, actively supported by SimTech and SFB 1313, underscores the value of these collaborations in driving forward cutting-edge research.

Looking to the future, there are plans for an international workshop in 2025. This workshop aims to further strengthen the collaboration and foster innovative research. The partnership not only benefits Alexander Schlaich and his research group but also enhances the research of SimTech and SFB 1313 in general, exemplifying the value of international and interdisciplinary cooperation.

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