Physical Chemistry

Lund University

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Emma Sparr, Professor

Academic background

2011: Professor in Physical Chemistry-Colloidal Biology, Lund University 
2009: Docent in Physical Chemistry, Lund University 
2004- 2011: Assistant Professor, Physical Chemistry. Financed by VR
 Postdoc at the Dept. Biochemistry of Membranes, Utrecht University. 
 Postdoc at the Dept Pharmacy, Uppsala University
 PhD in Physical Chemistry, Lund University
1996: MSc in Chemistry, Lund university & University of Cambridge

Commissions of Trust

* Member of the Scientific Council for Natural and Engineering Sciences at the Swedish research council, VR (2019-2021)

* Member of the Faculty board, Science Faculty, Lund University (2018-2023)

* Deputy head of the Division of Physical Chemistry, Lund University (2016-2020)

* Chair of the review panel in analytical, physical and theoretical chemistry at the Swedish research council, VR (2016-2018)

* Member in steering group Multipark strategic research area at Lund University (2015-2017)

* Director for Linné Excellence center "Organizing Molecular Matter" (OMM) (2012-2016)

Awards and Elected Membership

2020: Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences

2019: Arrhenius medal (Swedish Chemical Society)

2017-:Member of the Royal Physiographic Society of Lund, Academy for the Natural Sciences, Medicine and Technology 

2014: Hagberg Foundation Prize (Royal Swedish Academies of Sciences, KVA)

2011-2016: Member in the Young Academy of Sweden (selected by KVA)

2011: WEF 2011 Young Scientist. World Economic Forum. Nominated by KVA 

2008: Future Research Leader Award (Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, SSF)

2006: Per-Eric and Ulla Schyberg's Award (Royal Physiographic Society)

2003:Akzo Nobel Nordic Research Prize

Programs and Research Centers

• Member (main PI) of the Research Environment CASCADE- Cause or consequence of Alzheimer disease  (funded by the Swedish Research Council)
• Member of the Wallenberg research project "Physical chemistry of peptide-lipid co-assembly: from lipid-rich to peptide-rich" (2015-2020)
• Member of the Wallenberg research project "Anisotropic forces in colloidal systems" (2015-2020)
• Partner and Director of the Linnaeus Research Center Organizing Molecular Matter (OMM) (2006-2016)
• Member of Multipark
- a strategic research area at Lund university (2009-)
• Participating in the programme Future Research Leaders, a project funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) (2008-2013

Selected Publications

complete list

R. Gaspar, I. Idini, G. Carlström, S. Linse, E. Sparr. Transient lipid-protein structures and selective ganglioside uptake during a-synuclein-lipid co-aggregation. 
Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology (2001) In press


E.H Mojumdar, E. Sparr. The effect of pH and salt on the molecular structure and dynamics of the skin. 

J Coll Interf Sci (2020) In press


Andersson, J.M., Pham, Q.D., Mateos, H., Eriksson, S., Harryson, P., Sparr, E.The plant dehydrin Lti30 stabilizes lipid lamellar structures in varying hydration conditions 

J. Lip Research (2020) 61: 1014–1024


Gaspar, R. Lund, M., Sparr, E., Linse, S. Anamalous salt dependence reveals an interplay of attractive and repulsive electrostatic interactions in a-synuclein fibril formation

QRB-D (2020)  1, e2: 1-11


C. Galvagnion, D. Topgaard, K. Makasewicz, A.K. Buell, S. Linse, E. Sparr, C. Dobson: Lipid dynamics and phase transition within a-synuclein amyloid fibrils.
J. Phys. Chem. Lett (2019) 10, 7872


J. Andersson, K. Roger, M. Larsson, E. Sparr. The impact of non-equilibrium conditions in lung surfactant: structure and composition gradients in multilamellar films.

ACS Central Science (2018) 4, 1315


M Wang, A.M. Mihut, E. Rieloff, A.P. Dabkowska, L.K. Månsson, J. Immink, E. Sparr, J. Crassous. Assembling responsing microgels at a responsive lipid membrane. 

PNAS (2019) 116, 5442


Q.D. Pham, A. Wolde-Kidan, A. Gupta, E. Schneck, R. Netz, E. Sparr. Effects of Urea and TMAO on Lipid Self-Assembly under Osmotic Stress Conditions

J. Phys Chem B (2018) 1255, 6471 (selected for journal cover)


J. Habchi, S. Chia, C. Galvagnion, T. C. T. Michaels, M. Bellaiche, F. S. Ruggeri, M. Sanguanini, I. Idini, J. R. Kumita, E. Sparr, S. Linse, C. M. Dobson, T. P. J. Knowles, M. Vendruscolo. Cholesterol catalyses Ab42 aggregation through a heterogeneous nucleation pathway in the presence of lipid membranes.
Nature Chemistry (2018) 10, 673


E.H. Mujumdar, Q.D. Pham, D. Topgaard, E. Sparr. Skin Hydration: Interplay between molecular dynamics, structure and water uptake in the stratum corneum.
Sci Reports (2017) 7, 15712


J. M. Andersson, C. Grey, M. Larsson, T.M. Ferreira, E. Sparr. Effect of cholesterol on the molecular structure and transitions in a clinical-grade lung surfactant extract.
PNAS (2017) 114, E3592-E3601


Q.D. Pham, D. Topgaard, E. Sparr. Tracking solvents in the skin- Molecular mobility of solvents, lipids and protein in intact stratum corneum.
PNAS (2017) 114, E112-E121


K. Roger, M. Liebi, J. Heimdal, Q.D. Pham, E. Sparr. Controlling evaporation through self-assembly.
PNAS (2016) 113, 10275 


C. Galvagnion , J.W.P. Brown  , M.M. Ouberai, P. Flagmeier , M. Vendruscolo, A.K. Buell, E. Sparr,  C.M. Dobson. The chemical properties of lipids strongly affect the kinetics of the membrane-induced aggregation of alpha-synuclein.
PNAS (2016) 113, 7065-70 


A. Dabkowska, A. Michanel, L. Jaeger, M. Rabe, F. Höök, T. Nylander, E. Sparr. Assembly of RNA nanostructures on supported lipid bilayers.
Nanoscale (2015) 7, 583–596 


M. Grey, C. Dunning, R. Gaspar, C. Grey, P. Brundin, E. Sparr, S. Linse. Acceleration of a-synuclein aggregation by exosomes.
J Biol Chem (2015) 290, 2969–2982 


S. Björklund, J.M. Andersson, Q.D. Pham, A. Nowacka, D. Topgaard, E. Sparr. Stratum corneum molecular mobility in the presence of natural moisturizers.
Soft Matter (2014) 10, 4535-4546 


A.K. Buell, C. Galvagnion, R. Gaspar, E. Sparr, M. Vendruscolo, T.P.J. Knowles S. Linse, C.M. Dobson Solution conditions determine the relative importance of nucleation and growth processes in alpha-synuclein aggregation.
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2014) 111. 7671-7677 


E. Hellstrand, A. Nowacka, D. Topgaard, S. Linse, E. Sparr. Membrane Lipid Co-Aggregation with α-Synuclein Fibrils.

PLoS ONE (2013) e61889


S. Björklund, A. Nowacka, J.A. Bouwstra, E. Sparr, D. Topgaard. Characterization of stratum corneum molecular dynamics by natural-abundance 13C solid-state NMR.

PLOS One (2013). 8, e61889


E. Sparr, M.F.M. Engel, D.V: Sakharov, M. Sprong, J. Jacobs, B. de Kruijff, J.W.M. Höppener, J. A. Killian. Islet amyloid polypeptide-induced membrane leakage involves the uptake of lipids by the forming amyloid fibers.

FEBS Lett (2004) 577, 117-120


E. Sparr, H. Wennerström. Responding Binary Phospholipid Membranes - Interplay between Hydration and Permeability.

Biophys. J. (2001) 81, 1014-1028 


+46-46-222 15 36
emma [dot] sparr [at] fkem1 [dot] lu [dot] se