Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam, Germany
Keynote Speaker for MaxSynBio
Rumiana Dimova obtained her PhD at Bordeaux University (France) in 1999. Afterwards she joined the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (Germany) as a postdoctoral fellow, where she became a group leader in 2000 leading the Biophysics Lab. Her main research interests are in the field of membrane biophysics. She has been tackling a variety of open questions in cell membrane biophysiscs and synthetic biology while employing giant vesicles as a platform to develop new methods for the biophysical characterization of membranes and processes involving them. In 2014, she was awarded with the Emmy Noether Distinction for Women in Physics of the European Physical Society.
Keynote Presentation: Morphology, growth and division of biomimetic microcompartments
Abstract: Before cells divide, they grow and deform. This talk will discuss the individual stages of this three-step process of growth, deformation and division employing artificial cells in the form of giant unilamellar vesicles. Vesicle area increase will be described as triggered by fusion of small liposomes and irradiation of photo-sensitive molecules in the membrane. The deformation and how one can control it will be discussed in terms of factors generating membrane spontaneous curvature as well as wetting of the membrane by droplets and protein condensates. Finally, we will present an example approach for vesicle division triggered by the interplay of area-to-volume constraints and spontaneous curvature changes imposed by sparse coverage of the membrane by asymmetrically adsorbed proteins.