Lennart Hilbert

PhD. Physiology, B.Sc. Physics

Recently graduated

B.Sc. Physics

Project : Reverse engineering smooth muscle contractile proteins

My work had two major goals: 1) To understand how a group of myosin motor proteins collectively propels an actin filament, and 2) to, based on this understanding, explore the relevance of different smooth muscle contractile proteins to molecular mechanics of smooth muscle. Knowledge gained in these areas can potentially explain how changes in the expression levels of smooth muscle contractile proteins cause pathologic changes in muscle mechanics, such as airway hyperresponsiveness in asthma. For the detailed assessment of mechanical interactions between myosin protein motors and actin filaments, I developed an automated video analysis software for the in vitro motility assay. For a theoretical understanding of the experimental results, I developed mathematical models of the mechanical interaction of myosin and actin in the motility assay. The mathematical models were adjusted to experimental results, thus determining the parameters of the mechanical interaction for different conditions and combinations of contractile proteins.