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Stefan Auer

Member of the Crystallisation and Directed Assembly group

Contact details

Room: 1.12
Tel: +44 (0)113 3438669


Computational biophysics
Soft matter physics
Statistical mechanics
Biomolecular self-assembly
Phase transitions

Photograph of Stefan Auer

Research interests

My research is focused on the application of theoretical computational tools developed in soft condensed matter physics to investigate the phase behaviour and transitions of complex systems of biomolecules. From a purely statistical mechanical point of view an ensemble of many peptides and proteins represents a new and important system which should lead to bridge our understanding of colloidal systems, polymers, and proteins. Examples of transitions that I investigated include colloidal crystallization and the aggregation of proteins into amyloid fibrils. My long term goal is to understand more generally the nucleation and regulation of normal and aberrant self-assembly in biological systems, and how we can functionalise them as nanomaterials.

Useful links

Research group pages   
Centre for Molecular Nanoscience    


Auer S Simple Model of the Effect of Solution Conditions on the Nucleation of Amyloid Fibrils. J Phys Chem B -, 2017
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Rizzi LG, Auer S, Head DA Importance of non-affine viscoelastic response in disordered fibre networks Soft Matter 12 4332-4338, 2016
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Rizzi LG, Auer S Amyloid Fibril Solubility Journal of Physical Chemistry B 119 14631-14636, 2015
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Auer S Nucleation of polymorphic amyloid fibrils Biophysical Journal 108 1176-1186, 2015
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Rizzi LG, Head DA, Auer S Universality in the morphology and mechanics of coarsening amyloid fibril networks Physical Review Letters 114 -, 2015
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Auer S Amyloid fibril nucleation: effect of amino acid hydrophobicity Journal of Physical Chemistry B 118 5289-5299, 2014
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Bingham RJ, Rizzi LG, Cabriolu R, Auer S Communication: Non-monotonic supersaturation dependence of the nucleus size of crystals with anisotropically interacting molecules. Journal of Chemical Physics 139 -, 2013
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Kashchiev D, Cabriolu R, Auer S Confounding the paradigm: Peculiarities of amyloid fibril nucleation Journal of the American Chemical Society 135 1531-1539, 2013
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Cabriolu R, Kashchiev D, Auer S Breakdown of nucleation theory for crystals with strongly anisotropic interactions between molecules. J Chem Phys 137 204903-, 2012
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Auer S, Ricchiuto P, Kashchiev D Two-step nucleation of amyloid fibrils: omnipresent or not? J Mol Biol 422 723-730, 2012
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Auer S, Ricchiuto P, Kashchiev D Two-step nucleation of amyloid fibrils: Omnipresent or not? Journal of Molecular Biology 422 723-730, 2012
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Brukhno AV, Ricchiuto P, Auer S Tracking polypeptide folds on the free energy surface: effects of the chain length and sequence. J Phys Chem B 116 8703-8713, 2012
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Ricchiuto P, Brukhno AV, Auer S Protein aggregation: kinetics versus thermodynamics. J Phys Chem B 116 5384-5390, 2012
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Auer S Phase diagram of polypeptide chains. J Chem Phys 135 175103-, 2011
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Cabriolu R, Kashchiev D, Auer S Size distribution of amyloid nanofibrils. Biophys J 101 2232-2241, 2011
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Ricchiuto P, Brukhno AV, Paci E, Auer S Communication: Conformation state diagram of polypeptides: a chain length inducedα-β transition. J Chem Phys 135 061101-, 2011
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Cabriolu R, Auer S Amyloid Fibrillation Kinetics: Insight from Atomistic Nucleation Theory J MOL BIOL 411 275-285, 2011

Brukhno AV, Akinshina A, Coldrick Z, Nelson A, Auer S Phase phenomena in supported lipid films under varying electric potential SOFT MATTER 7 1006-1017, 2011

Cabriolu R, Kashchiev D, Auer S Atomistic theory of amyloid fibril nucleation. J Chem Phys 133 225101-, 2010
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Auer S, Kashchiev D Insight into the correlation between lag time and aggregation rate in the kinetics of protein aggregation. Proteins 78 2412-2416, 2010
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Kashchiev D, Auer S Nucleation of amyloid fibrils. J Chem Phys 132 215101-, 2010
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Auer S, Kashchiev D Phase Diagram of alpha-Helical and beta-Sheet Forming Peptides PHYS REV LETT 104 -, 2010

Auer S, Trovato A, Vendruscolo M A condensation-ordering mechanism in nanoparticle-catalyzed peptide aggregation. PLoS Comput Biol 5 e1000458-, 2009
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Auer S, Dobson CM, Vendruscolo M, Maritan A Self-Templated Nucleation in Peptide and Protein Aggregation PHYS REV LETT 101 -, 2008

Auer S, Meersman F, Dobson CM, Vendruscolo M A Generic Mechanism of Emergence of Amyloid Protofilaments from Disordered Oligomeric Aggregates PLOS COMPUT BIOL 4 -, 2008

Auer S, Miller MA, Krivov SV, Dobson CM, Karplus M, Vendruscolo M Importance of metastable states in the free energy landscapes of polypeptide chains Physical Review Letters 99 -, 2007
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Auer S, Dobson CM, Vendruscolo M Characterization of the nucleation barriers for protein aggregation and amyloid formation HFSP J 1 137-146, 2007

Cacciuto A, Auer S, Frenkel D Onset of heterogeneous crystal nucleation in colloidal suspensions Nature 428 404-406, 2004

Auer S, Frenkel D Line tension controls wall-induced crystal nucleation in hard-sphere colloids Physical Review Letters 91 015703,1-4, 2003

Auer S, Frenkel D Suppression of crystal nucleation in polydisperse colloids due to increase of the surface free energy Nature 413 711-713, 2001

Auer S, Frenkel D Prediction of absolute crystal-nucleation rate in hard-sphere colloids Nature 409 1020-1023, 2001