Magnus Andersson


My research employs a combined theoretical and experimental approach to understand membrane protein dynamics.

On the experimental side, I have developed a time-resolved wide-angle X-ray scattering (TR-WAXS) technique to monitor membrane protein conformational dynamics in solution at high temporal resolution. So far, I have used TR-WAXS to determine reaction dynamics of a range of small photoactive chemicals and archaeal rhodopsins. I have also recently started to use neutron scattering to determine membrane protein structural features in lipid multilayers. The different scattering lengths of hydrogen and deuterium enable us to highlight desired structural features like certain amino acids, solvating water or lipids. Using neutron scattering, I have performed a set of experiments of the S4 helix with specifically deuterated arginines to pinpoint the location of charged amino acids in a lipid bilayer.

I use molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to model the experimental data and to visualise phenomena that are very hard, if not impossible, to address with existing experimental techniques, such as partitioning in the membrane interface and dynamic patterns in protein salt-bridge/H-bind interactions. Moreover, water and side chain dynamics also add to our understanding of membrane protein function. Any prediction from the simulations should be anchored in experimental results. In addition to the scattering techniques, I have also recently started to use functional characterisation techniques that target protein activity to assay mutational phenotypes.

Selected research topics

Refinement methods for time-resolved X-ray scattering methods exemplified by work on archaeal rhodopsins by Andersson et al. 2009

Simulated release mechanisms of (a) a Cu+ transporting P-type ATPase (CopA) and accompanying potential of mean force (PMF) profile of ion release and (b) a Zn2+ transporting P-type ATPase (ZntA) and accompanying protein-ion interaction statistics.

Snapshot from a simulation monitoring proton-coupled dynamics in LacY (Andersson et al. 2012)


16 Scientific works, including two in Science, one in Nature, one in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, and three in Structure. 311 citations, H-index 11 (2015-06-12).

Google Scholar profile:

  • Kimanius, D., Pettersson, i., Schluckebier, G., Lindahl, E., Andersson, M. (2015) SAXS-guided metadynamics. Accepted for publication in Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation.
  • Yoluk, O., Lindahl, E., Andersson, M. (2015) Conformational gating dynamics in the GluCl anion-selective chloride channel. Accepted for publication in ACS Chemical Neuroscience.
  • Wang, K.. Sitsel, O., Meloni, G., Autzen, H.E., Andersson, M., Klymchuk, T., Nielsen, A.M., Rees, D.C., Nissen, P., Gourdon P. (2014) Structure and mechanism of Zn2+ transporting P-type ATPases. Nature 514(7523):518-522.
  • Jiang, X., Villafuerte, M.K.R., Andersson, M. White, S.H., Kaback H.R. (2014). Galactoside-binding site in LacY. Biochemistry 53(9):1536-1543.
  • Andersson, M., Mattle, D., Sitsel, O., Klymchuk, T., Nielsen, A. M., Møller, L.B., White, S.H., Nissen, P., Gourdon P. (2014). Copper-transporting P-type ATPases use a unique ion-release pathway. Nature Structure & Molecular Biology 24:43-48.
  • Nyblom, M., Poulsen, H., Gourdon, P., Reinhard, L., Andersson, M., Lindahl, E., Fedesova, N., Nissen, P. (2013). Crystal Structure of a Na+, K+-ATPase in the Na+-bound state. Science 342(6154):123-127.
  • Andersson M., Ulmschneider, J.P., Ulmschneider, M.B., White, S.H. (2013). Conformational States of Melittin at a Bilayer Interface.Biophys. J. 104(6):L12-14.
  • Andersson M, Bondar AN, Freites JA, Tobias DJ, Kaback HR, & White SH (2012). Proton-Coupled Dynamics in Lactose Permease. Structure 20:1893-1904.
  • Malmerberg, E., Omran, Z., Hub, J.S., Li, X., Katona, G., Westenhoff, S., Johansson, L.C., Andersson, M., Cammarata, M., Wulff, M., van der Spoel, D., Davidsson, J., Specht, A., and Neutze, R. (2011). Time-Resolved WAXS Reveals Accelerated Conformational Changes in Iodoretinal-Substituted Proteorhodopsin. Biophys. J. 101(6):1345-1353; doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2011.07.050.
  • Andersson M., Freites J.A., Tobias D.J., White S.H. (2011). Structural dynamics of the s4 voltage-sensor helix in lipid bilayers lacking phosphate groups. J Phys Chem B. 115(27):8732-8.
  • Ulmschneider, J.P., Andersson M., Ulmschneider, M.B. (2011). Determining Peptide Partitioning Properties via Computer Simulation. J. Membr. Biol. 239(1-2):15-26.
  • Wöhri, A.B., Katona, G., Johansson, L.C., Fritz, E., Malmerberg, E., Andersson, M., Vincent, J., Eklund, M., Cammarata, M., Wulff, M., Davidsson, J., Groenhof, G., Neutze, R. (2010). Light-induced structural changes in a photosynthetic reaction center caught by Laue diffraction. Science. 328(5978):630-3.
  • Andersson, M., Malmerberg, E., Westenhoff, S., Katona, G., Cammarata, M., Wohri, A.B., Johansson, L.C., Ewald, F., Eklund, M., Wulff, M., Davidsson, J., Neutze,R. (2009). Structural dynamics of light-driven proton pumps. Structure. 17(9):1265-75.
  • Vincent, J., Andersson M., Eklund, M., Wohri, A.B., Odelius, M., Malmerberg, E., Kong, Q., Wulff, M., Neutze, R., Davidsson, J. (2009). Solvent dependent structural perturbations of chemical reaction intermediates visualized by time-resolved X-ray diffraction. J. Chem. Phys. 130(15):154502.
  • Andersson, M., Vincent, J., van der Spoel, D., Davidsson J., Neutze, R. (2008). A proposed time-resolved X-ray scattering approach to track local and global conformational changes in membrane transport proteins. Structure. 16(1):21-8.
  • Georgiou, P., Vincent, J., Andersson M., Wohri, A.B., Gourdon, P., Poulsen J., Davidsson J., Neutze R. (2006). Picosecond calorimetry: time-resolved X-ray diffraction studies of liquid CH2Cl2. J. Chem. Phys.124(23):234507.


2013 Researcher, Science for Life Laboratory, Department of Theoretical Physics, Swedish e-Science Research Center, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

2012 Researcher, Science for Life Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

2009 Postdoctoral researcher, Dept. of Physiology and Biophysics, University of California, Irvine, USA

2009 Postdoctoral researcher, Centre of Molecular Movies (CMM), Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

2008 PhD in Bioscience, Dept. of Chemistry and Bioscience, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden

2003 M. Sc. Chemistry, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden. External Master thesis at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


2014      Åke Wibergs Stiftelse
Title: Visualizing membrane protein dynamics involved in hereditary disease

2014      Magnus Bergvalls Stiftelse
Title: Structural dynamics of heavy metal-transporting membrane proteins

2013      Marie Curie Career Integration Grant
Title: Visualizing functional structural dynamics of membrane protein transporters

2012      Magnus Bergvalls Stiftelse
Title: Structural dynamics of copper-transporting P-type ATPases

2010      U.S. National Science Foundation I2CAM International Materials Institute Award, USA


2015,2014       Protein Physics SI2700 (7.5 ECTS credits) at the Royal Institute of technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden.

2007-2008    Membrane protein technology KMB050 (7.5 ECTS credits) at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.

2003-2008     Molecular Biotechnology KMB056 (4.5 ECTS credits) at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Supervision (present)

2015     Olle Hedkvist, Master thesis, Dept. of Theoretical Physics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Preliminary title: Determining the free energy landscape of protein-mediated transport across a membrane

2014     Harsha Ravishankar, Master thesis, Uppsala University
Preliminary title: Structural dynamics of membrane protein transporters in solution

Supervision (alumni)

2014      Dari Kimanius, Master thesis, Theoretical Physics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Title: SAXS-Guided Metadynamics

2014      Panagiota Kolitsida, scholarship-supported Pre-PhD program in Biochemistry, Biophysics or Bioinformatics, Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University.
Project: Overexpression, purification and characterization of a Type-IB P-type ATPase.

2013      Farhad Kimanos, summer internship sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk A/S, Copenhagen.
Project: Modeling dynamical processes in the Insulin Receptor (IR).