Emma Sparr

Professor, Physical chemistry, Lund University

Membership period 20112016

I am professor in physical chemistry with focus om colloidal biology. Humans can be seen as water-rich bodies in a dry environment. Still, we do not desiccate. This fact is thanks to the barrier function of the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum. The skin is a responding membrane, and its properties can be controlled by changes in the outside environment. A deeper molecular understanding of this response mechanism is of huge importance to, for example, develop formulations with drugs that can be absorbed through the skin and to prevent pollutants from entering.

My research aims at the link between molecular structure in membranes and their barrier properties, and how these propoertiues are affected by interactions between the membrane and other molecules. We study phenomena related to transport and structure of the skin, lung and in cell membranes. The strategy is to study general physical mechanisms and understand the role of these mechanisms in biological membranes.


Emma Sparr
Emma Sparr
Proteinansamling och lipidblåsa

Emma Sparr(left and center) Photo: Gunnar Menander
Image to the right: Protein aggregate associated to lipid vescile – Aggregates of the Parkinson's disease-related protein alfa-synuclein (green) associate to model lipid membranes in giant vesicles (red). The image is a made with fluorescence confocal microscopy. Image: Marie Grey, Patrik Brundin, Sara Linse, Emma Sparr (Click to enlarge.)

Nobelskolbesök Värmdö gymnasium
Nobelskolbesök Värmdö gymnasium
Levitt och Sparr

Emma Sparr at the Nobel Prize schoolvisit 2013 together with Chemistry Laureates Mike Levitt and Arieh Warshel, Prize in Chemistry committee member Sven Lidin, and Ph.D. Sebastian Björklund. (Click for high resolution) Photo: Annika Moberg/Young Academy of Sweden

Emma Sparr

Click for a high resolution press photo. Photo: Kennet Ruona


Born: 1972
Family: Husband and 3 sons born in 2004, 2006 and 2010
Interests: Being with my family and my friends. Being outdoors – hiking, cycling, skiing, or pottering about in the garden. Literature.

“The young academy of Sweden is a great forum discuss, get unique insights and and get the chance to influence future research policy.”

“I believe that collaboration between different disciplines is necessary for innovative and competitive research in complex fields of research. Such collaborations are stimulated through open scientific discussions across disciplinary boundaries, and the Young Academy is an excellent platform for this.”

Young Academy of Sweden
c/o The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Box 50005
SE-104 05 Stockholm

+ 46 (0)8 673 9500

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