University of Cambridge > > Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Departmental Seminars > Bigger Picture Talks with Lorenzo Di Michele: Synthetic cells - microrobots with life-like behaviours

Bigger Picture Talks with Lorenzo Di Michele: Synthetic cells - microrobots with life-like behaviours

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Professor Tim Korter.

Our departmental seminar series, Bigger Picture Talks, runs throughout the academic year, inviting thought-leaders from across the world driving significant advances in our impact areas of energy, health and sustainability to share and discuss their work with us. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to hear from other leading researchers, develop new connections and collaborations, and discuss some of the wider questions in our field. We hope they will inspire new ideas for us all to take into our own research.

In this talk, our new Assistant Professor Lorenzo Di Michele, shares his work using nucleic acid nanotechnology to engineer synthetic cells. Register to attend

Abstract Synthetic cells are fully artificial micro (or nano) devices constructed from the bottom-up, starting from elementary molecular components, in order to replicate responses typically associated with live biological cells, from environmental sensing, to communication, regulated metabolism, growth and motility. By designing and building these devices we can learn about biological principles, explore possible routes for the origin of life, and lay the foundations for next-generation technological solutions in healthcare and bioprocessing.

In this seminar I will explore the concept of synthetic cell, its history, and latest developments in the field. Along the way, I will discuss highlights of our group’s research on the use of synthetic nucleic acids as a toolkit to engineer synthetic cells and advanced biomimetic systems.

Bio Lorenzo completed his undergraduate and master’s degrees in physics at the University of L’Aquila (Abruzzo, Italy) in 2010, before moving to the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge to start his PhD in soft condensed matter physics. After graduating in 2013, Lorenzo took up an Oppenheimer Early Career Research Fellowship, followed by a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship in 2016 and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 2018. The following year, Lorenzo was awarded an ERC starting grant and moved to the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London as (proleptic) Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer, before returning to the University of Cambridge, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology in 2022. Lorenzo’s research group applies the toolkit of nucleic acid nanotechnology to designing advanced biomimetic systems, applicable as biophysical models or tackling challenges in biomedicine.

This talk is part of the Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Departmental Seminars series.

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