We hear from the ECLT network

"The development of life-like droplets to study the fundamental properties of living systems."

Martin M Hanczyc

ECLT Fellow

Laboratory for Artificial Biology; Centre for Integrative Biology (CIBIO).

University of Trento

16 October 2020, 3 p.m.

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My work is focused on understanding the fundamental principles of living and
evolving systems through experimental science. To this end, I build synthetic
systems where dynamic life-like properties emerge when self-assembled
systems are pushed away from equilibrium. I will present an experimental model
of bottom-up synthetic biology: chemically-active oil droplets. This system has
the ability to sense and metabolize and the potential to evolve. I will include
discussion of motile droplet behavior in the prebiotic context.

Bio sketch

Martin Hanczyc is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computational
and Integrative Biology at the University of Trento, Italy and a Research
Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of New
Mexico, Albuquerque USA. He formally was an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the
Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, Chief Chemist at
ProtoLife and Associate Professor at the University of Southern Denmark. He
received a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Pennsylvania State University, a
doctorate in Genetics from Yale University and was a postdoctorate fellow under
Jack Szostak at Harvard University. He has published in the area of droplets,
complex systems, evolution and the origin of life. Currently he heads the
Laboratory for Artificial Biology, developing novel synthetic chemical systems
based on the properties of living systems.