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School of Environment and Life Sciences

Dr Anna Akinshina

Lecturer in Physical Chemistry


I am an enthusiastic molecular modeller and have over 10 years of academic and industrial experience in molecular modelling and simulation applied to problems in life sciences. I study the interactions between the molecules, preferably bio-molecules. I have worked in the fields of food colloids, liquid crystals, protein interactions and bio membranes. My current research interests are in the area of topical drug delivery: how do molecules permeate into and through skin?

Nowadays I mainly use molecular dynamics (atomistic and coarse-grained) for my research but previously I’ve used Monte Carlo and Self-Consistent Field methods.

I graduated as a biophysicist from St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia. After that I obtained a PhD degree in Physical Chemistry at the Division of Physical Chemistry, Lund University, Sweden where I study interactions between polyelectrolytes and charged nanoparticles. I have moved to England in 2006 and prior joining the University of Salford in December 2016, I have worked at the School of Food Science & Nutrition, University of Leeds, Unilever R&D Port Sunlight, the School of Chemical Engineering & Analytical Sciences, University of Manchester and The Institute of Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention, School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield.


I am a module leader and a teacher for the module “Introduction to Physical Chemistry” (Level 4). I also contribute to the “Core Physical Chemistry” module in (Level 5) and the “Advanced Topics in Physical Chemistry” module (Level 6).

Research Interests

My primary research interests are clustered around biomolecular interactions. The topics I am working on and want to work include: including:

  • Skin structure and properties
  • Interactions of drugs and small molecules with bio-membranes
  • Molecular interactions within complex biosystems
  • How do different skin penetration enhancers work?
  • Antiseptics and antimicrobials and their interactions with skin lipids

We are organising CECAM workshop on skin permeation:

Qualifications and Memberships

  • 1996: BSc in Physics, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 1999: MSc in Physics, Department of Molecular Biophysics, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 2005: PhD in Physical Chemistry, Lund University, Sweden
  • Member of CCP5 (Collaborative Computational Project for simulations of condensed phases (since  2015)
  • Applied for RSC membership


Book Chapter:

R. Ettelaie, A. Akinshina and E. Dickinson, “A Theoretical Self Consistent Field Study of Mixed Interfacial Biopolymer Films” in ACS Symposium series 1007 (Micro/Nano Encapsulation of Active Food Ingredients), ed. Q. Huang, P. Given and M. Qian, 2009

Peer-reviewed papers:

  1. A. Akinshina, C Das and M.G. Noro, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2016, 18, 17446 - 17460  “Effect of Monoglycerides and Fatty Acids on a Ceramide Bilayer” (open access)

  1. A. Akinshina, M. Walker, M. R. Wilson, G. J. T. Tiddy, A. J. Masters and P. Carbone, Soft Matter, 2015, 11 (4), 680 – 691, “Thermodynamics of the self-assembly of non-ionic chromonic molecules using atomistic simulations. The case of TP6EO2M in aqueous solution.”

This article is part of themed collection: 2014 Soft Matter Hot Papers

  1. R. Ettelaie and A. Akinshina, Food Hydrocolloids, 2014,  42, 106 -117

“Colloidal Interactions Induced by Overlap of Mixed Protein + Polysaccharide Interfacial Layers”

  1. A. Akinshina, E. Jambon-Puillet , P. Warren and M. Noro, BMC Biophysics, 2013, 6:12

“Self-consistent field theory for the interactions between keratin intermediate filaments”,  (open access)

  1. R. Ettelaie, A. Akinshina and S. Maurer, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 7582-7597

“Mixed protein–polysaccharide interfacial layers: effect of polysaccharide charge distribution”,

  1. A. V. Brukhno, A. Akinshina, Z. Coldrick, A. Nelson and S. Auer,  Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 1006-1017  “Phase phenomena in supported lipid films under varying electric potential

  1. A. Akinshina, R. Ettelaie, E. Dickinson, and G. Smyth, Biomacromolecules, 2008, 9, 3188–3200 “Interactions between Adsorbed Layers of αS1-Casein with Covalently Bound Side Chains: A Self-Consistent Field Study”
  1. R. Ettelaie, A. Akinshina and E. Dickinson, Faraday Discussions, 2008, 139, 161-178
    “Mixed protein–polysaccharide interfacial layers: a self-consistent field calculation study”

  1. A. Akinchina and P. Linse, Langmuir, 2007, 23, 1465–1472
    “Diblock Polyampholytes Grafted onto Spherical Particles: Effect of Stiffness, Charge Density, and Grafting Density”
  1. A. Akinchina, N. P. Shusharina and P. Linse, Langmuir, 2004, 20, 10351-10360
    “Diblock Polyampholytes Grafted onto Spherical Particles: Monte Carlo Simulation and Lattice Mean-Field Theory”
  1. A. Akinchina and P. Linse, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2003, 107, 8011-8021
    “Monte Carlo Simulations of Polyion -Macroion Complexes. 2. Polyion Length and Charge Density Dependence”
  1. A. Akinchina and P. Linse, Macromolecules, 2002, 35, 5183-5193
    “Monte Carlo Simulations of Polyion-Macroion Complexes. 1. Equal Absolute Polyion and Macroion Charges”

Note: In early publications my surname was spelled as Akinchina