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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching


Myself, along with Dr. Tapani Viitala, share leadership of the Pharmaceutical Biophysics group. Our research combines my computational research methodologies with the experimental research methodologies of Dr. Tapani Viitala, to the development of a mechanistic understanding of the interactions between the three fundamental elements of bionanovectors: lipid membranes, proteins and polymers. We study their behaviour in the bloodstream and, on a more general level, the design principles of safe and efficient drug delivery systems and their interaction with biological membranes and cells. The group is founded on the combined expertise of the two principle investigators with established track records in this field: the experimental research of Dr. Tapani Viitala and the computational research of Dr. Alex Bunker. The combination provides a synergistic framework that, as collaboration, has already provided new insights from new combined experimental-computational methodologies for the analysis of these systems.


I currently teach two courses “advanced mathematical tools for pharmaceutical research” Course #590337 and “Fundamentals of Molecular Modelling and drug design” Course #590287, both at the faculty of pharmacy. Course #590337 is an refresher course in the applied mathematical tools needed for pharmacy research in areas including physical pharmacy, pharmacokinetics and molecular modelling. Course #590287 is an introductory course in molecular modelling taught from the ground up to give the students who have no initial background a basic understanding of the growing use of molecular modelling techniques in pharmaceutical research. 

Curriculum vitae



  • 317 Pharmacy
  • 114 Physical sciences
  • 118 Biological sciences
  • 116 Chemical sciences
  • 221 Nano-technology

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 2008 2019

Determinants of Orexin Receptor Binding and Activation—A Molecular Dynamics Study

Karhu, L., Magarkar, A., Bunker, A. & Xhaard, H., 28 Mar 2019, In : Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 123, 12, p. 2609-2622 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Biophysical Characterization of Supported Lipid Bilayers Using Parallel Dual-Wavelength Surface Plasmon Resonance and Quartz Crystal Microbalance Measurements

Parkkila, P., Elderdfi, M., Bunker, A. & Viitala, T., 10 Jul 2018, In : Langmuir. 34, 27, p. 8081-8091 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Characterization of membrane–foulant interactions with novel combination of Raman spectroscopy, surface plasmon resonance and molecular dynamics simulation

Virtanen, T., Parkkila, P., Koivuniemi, A., Lahti, J., Viitala, T., Kallioinen, M., Mänttäri, M. & Bunker, A., 23 May 2018, In : Separation and Purification Technology. 205, p. 263-272 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Comparison of time-gated surface-enhanced raman spectroscopy (TG-SERS) and classical SERS based monitoring of Escherichia coli cultivation samples

Kögler, M., Paul, A., Anane, E., Birkholz, M., Bunker, A., Viitala, T., Maiwald, M., Junne, S. & Neubauer, P., 2018, In : Biotechnology Progress. 34, 6, p. 1533-1542 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Control of Peptide Aggregation and Fibrillation by Physical PEGylation

Ambrosio, E., Podmore, A., dos Santos, A. L. G., Magarkar, A., Bunker, A., Caliceti, P., Mastrotto, F., van der Walle, C. F. & Salmaso, S., Oct 2018, In : Biomacromolecules. 19, 10, p. 3958-3969 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Projects 2005 2019

Molecular dynamics simulation as a tool to investigate novel formulations for –some based drug delivery systems

Bunker, A. E., Magarkar, A., Karhu, L., Momeni, S. & Mahmoudzadeh, M.


Project: Research project

Medimmune collaboration research

Bunker, A. E. & Magarkar, A.


Project: Research project

Surface Structure of Nanoparticles

Magarkar, A., Bunker, A. E., Urtti, A., Yliperttula, M. & Rog, T.


Project: Research project

Molecular dynamics simulation of DNA - dendrimer interactions

Bunker, A. E. & maiti, P.


Project: Research project

Activities 2005 2018

6th European Joint Theoretical Experimental Meeting on Membranes

Tapani Viitala (Chair of organizing committee), Alexander Edwin Bunker (Chair of organizing committee)
12 Dec 201814 Dec 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Faculty of Pharmacy, the University of Padua

Alex Edwin Bunker (Visiting researcher)
6 Jul 20168 Jul 2016

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesAcademic visit to other institution

Journal of Biological Physics (Journal)

Alex Edwin Bunker (Reviewer)
16 May 2016

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Talk presented at CRS Nordic Chapter meeting

Alex Edwin Bunker (Attendee)
2 Jun 20163 Jun 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Talks

Journal of Controlled Release (Journal)

Alex Edwin Bunker (Reviewer)
26 Aug 2016

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Press / Media

Interview for article in "Inside Science"

Alex Edwin Bunker


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media