Synthetic biology seeks to probe fundamental aspects of biological form and function by construction (i.e. resynthesis) rather than deconstruction (analysis). Synthesis thus complements reductionist and analytic studies of life, and allows novel approaches towards fundamental biological questions.
We have been exploiting the synthesis paradigm to explore the chemical etiology of the genetic apparatus shared by all life on earth. I will present recent progress in the development and application of strategies to enable the replication and evolution of synthetic genetic polymers not found in nature, which we term XNAs. Furthermore, I will present our progress in the engineering and evolution of RNA polymerase ribozymes towards self-replication.
Philipp Holliger is a Program Leader at the UKRI MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC LMB) in Cambridge. He graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich with distinction. He then moved to Cambridge for a Ph. D. and a postdoctoral fellowship with Greg Winter (Nobel prize Chemistry 2018). In 2000, he joined the faculty at MRC LMB, where he was tenured in 2005. His research spans the fields of chemical biology, synthetic biology and in vitro evolution and has been published in major journals (e. g. Nature, Science, Cell etc.) and has featured in Scientific American’s 10 World Changing Ideas. He was elected member of EMBO in 2015.
Moderation: Professorin Dr. Sabine Müller
Organizational information on the digital lecture
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Meeting-ID: 821 1790 3697