Dr. Anna Akinshina

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Photo of Dr. Anna Akinshina

Contact Details

Peel Building - Room 303

Please email to book a meeting.



Current positions

Lecturer in Physical Chemistry; Programme Leader for BSc Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry; Placement Tutor for Chemical Sciences


I am a molecular modeller with academic and industrial experience in computer simulations applied to problems in chemistry and life sciences. I graduated as a biophysicist and then obtained my PhD in Physical Chemistry.

I have moved to England in 2006 and prior to 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, and the University of Huddersfield.

Over the years I have been working in the fields of food colloids (protein-polysaccharide interactions at the interfaces, free energy evaluation), liquid crystals (self-assembly), skin structure (properties of skin lipids and proteins) and cell membranes (atomistic and coarse-grained models, drug-membrane interactions).

Previously I have been using Monte Carlo and Self-Consistent Field methods but nowadays I focus on molecular dynamics simulations.

Areas of research

Computational Chemistry, Molecular Modelling (atomistic and coarse-grained molecular dynamics)d, Structure and properties of biological membranes (including skin lipids, cell plasma membranes, lung surfactants), Drug-membrane Interactions, Self-assembly Phenomena

Areas of supervision

Computational and Biological Chemistry, Physical Chemistry


Module leader for:

  • Introduction to Physical Chemistry (L4)
  • Biochem and Pharmaceutical Skills (L4)
  • Biochemistry and Pharm Sci placement (L6)

Also contribute teaching or in the following modules:

  • Core Physical Chemistry (L5)
  • Drug discovery & Medicinal Chemistry (L5)
  • Advanced topics in Physical Chemistry (L6)
  • Bionanotechnology and Nanomedicine (L7)

Tutor in the following modules:

  • Professional Communications (L3)
  • Introductory Biochemistry (L4)
  • Postgraduate Scholarship Skills (L7)
  • Professional Practice (L7)
  • Supervision of BSc and MSc research projects


Research Interests

  • Lipid composition (and properties) of cancer and normal membranes
  • Skin structure and properties
  • Interactions of drugs and small molecules with bio-membranes
  • Pulmonary surfactants
  • Self-assembly (and disassembly)
  • Atomistic and coarse-grained models

My main research interests lie in the areas of structure and properties of biomembranes and drug delivery through (and into) membranes.

We are looking into differences in lipid composition of cancer and normal cell membranes and changes in membrane properties upon malignant transformations. We study drug-membrane interactions using different membrane types on the atomising and coarse-grained level (MARTINI force-field).

My other research interests lie in the area of transdermal and topical drug delivery (drug delivery via skin) and skin permeation enhancers.

I am also interested to expand my research to proteins (especially membrane proteins) and protein-ligand interactions. Often my computational projects have a biological experimental counterpart (in collaboration with the experimental groups within the school) where the students learn how do cell culture (cancer / normal cells) and investigate cytotoxicity.

My other research interest includes lung surfactants (in the framework of SPAN research network) and liposomes as drug delivery systems (in collaboration with the Nanomaterials group, Salford NanoLab). 

Qualifications and Memberships


  • 2018     Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP),
    University of Salford, Salford, Manchester, M5 4WT
  • 2010     PhD in Physical Chemistry
    Division of Physical Chemistry, University of Lund, SE-22100, Lund, Sweden
    Supervisor: Prof Per Linse
  • 1999    MSc in Physics
    Department of Molecular Biophysics, Faculty of Physics, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 1996     BSc in Physics
    Faculty of Physics, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), ref. PR149030
  • Member of RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry)
  • Member of the Computational Collaboration Project 5 community (CCP5)
  • Reviewer for Biomacromolecules, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, Macromolecular Theory and Simulations, Food Hydrocolloids, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science.