MoBioC 2022 Seminar Series: Dr Claudia Contini (University College London)

Image: Dr Contini
Dr Contini

Date: 9 February 2022   Time: 15:00 - 16:00

Title: Artificial Cells: from Soft Matter to Cell-like Behaviours

Abstract: My research involves the creation of artificial cell-like systems (protocells) from scratch by using synthetic or hybrid molecular building blocks, which are fully controllable by design and mimic the fundamental structure or mechanisms of natural cells. This multidisciplinary endeavour aims to create a broad range of products for functional applications and, at the same time, an increased understanding of biological systems and mechanisms.
Among all the cellular processes and mechanisms, one of the most exciting open challenges in chemical engineering is the development of artificial cell-like systems capable of autonomous and directional motion in response to their environment and adapt to its changes. Realising an artificial motile life-like system, controlling its motion and understanding its spatiotemporal organisation mimicking the biological communication will actively advance our understanding of the origin of life and push the boundaries of scientific discovery.

Bio: Claudia Contini is currently a L'Oréal-UNESCO UK Rising Talent and BBSRC Fellow at Imperial College London, working in bottom-up synthetic biology. Her multidisciplinary training comprises a Master degree in medical chemistry at the University of Padua in Italy and a PhD in Physical Chemistry at the University College London, UK. This has been followed by a postdoctoral position focused on investigating the interactions at the bio-nano interface at Imperial College London (ICL). She then obtained an ISSF Fellowship (ICL, UK) to create innovative protocells and the award of a prestigious TUM Foundation Fellowship from the Technical University of Munich, Germany (postponed due to Covid-19). This has been followed by the recent award of a L'Oréal-UNESCO UK Engineering Fellowship and a 3-years BBSRC Fellowship. Multiple awards have recognised her research, including the 'Italy Made Me' award from the Italian Ambassador in London to recognise her innovative research carried out in the UK.

Location:  Hybrid: Teams and SEMS Seminar Room, 3rd Floor, Engineering Building

Updated by: Julien Gautrot