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Dr. James Sáenz, group leader at B CUBE, and his colleagues Prof. Maya Schuldiner (The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel), Prof. Robert Ernst (Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes), and Dr. Ilya Leventhal (University of Texas) are starting a collaborative research project on "Design principles of living membranes". The project will be funded by the VW Stiftung for five years.
"The ultimate vision of our work is a synthetic, responsive, self-maintaining, and growing membrane that will comprise an essential part of the first synthetic cell.” says Dr. Sáenz. Despite the fundamental role of responsive membranes in defining and sustaining life, there is remarkably little understanding of the mechanisms by which cells sense and respond to changes in membrane properties. The project team aims to define these sense-and-respond mechanisms from molecules to organisms across the tree of life, from the simplest living organism to multicellular animals.
Dr. Leventhal, Prof. Ernst and Dr. Sáenz at the VW Stiftung in Hanover presenting the project idea.