Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden
Keynote Speaker for MaxSynBio
T-Y Dora Tang received her PhD from Imperial College London, UK, in 2010 in the area of membrane biophysics. After 1 year as an EPSRC knowledge transfer secondee at Diamond Light Source, Oxfordshire, UK she undertook a post-doc at the University of Bristol, UK, in the areas of origin of life and then synthetic biology. In 2016 she started her independent lab at the MPI-CBG, Dresden as part of the MaxSynBio consortium. Her research lies between biophysics, synthetic biology and materials chemistry with the goal of building minimal synthetic cellular systems as physical models to understand biological phenomena specifically those related to compartmentalisation.
Keynote Presentation: Towards synthetic cells - mediating enzyme reactions by compartmentalisation
Abstract: Biology is well equipped in exploiting a large number of out of equilibrium processes to support life. A complete understanding of these mechanisms is still in its infancy due to the complexity and number of the individual components involved in the reactions. However, a bottom up approach allows us to replicate key biological processes using a small number of basic building blocks. Moreover, this methodology has the added advantage that properties and characteristics of the artificial cell can be readily tuned and adapted. Here, I will present strategies for the design and synthesis of artificial cells based on hydrophobic effects such as lipid vesicles and proteinosomes and liquid-liquid phase separation of oppositely charged components (coacervates) and describe how these compartments may be used as platforms for investigating the effect of physical compartmentalisation on enzyme reactions.