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"From Lipids to Life"

Laboratory of Synthetic Membrane Biology

Our laboratory is focused on understanding how lipids contribute to membrane function and organismal fitness from synthetic protocells to microorganisms. We are interested in topics ranging from how membranes contributed to the origin of cellular life, to identifying membrane-based targets for antibiotic resistance. One of our central aims is to mine a repertoire of biological innovations from the simplest microorganisms to elucidate the minimal set of principles and components required to assemble a robust and responsive synthetic cell membrane. 

Our group will work on the design principles of functional synthetic membranes from the bottom up. This work is motivated by the questions “What role did membranes play in the origin and evolution of the cell?” and “What are the minimal features of a membrane that are necessary to support life?”

Methodological and Technical Expertise

  • Lipid biochemistry
  • Lipidomics
  • Microbiology: cultivation, genetics, physiological characterization
  • Membrane biophysics
  • In-vitro model membrane systems