Pierre-Alain M. Monnard, Ph.D.
Dept of Physics and Chemistry
University of Southern Denmark
DK 4230 Odense M
Tel: +(45) 6550 4437
Fax: +(45) 6615 8760
Self-replicating, self-assembled chemical system and Protocell; Origins of Life and Astrobiology; Membrane biophysics and chemistry; Bioreactors; Microcompartmentation of biological macromolecules (DNA, RNA, proteins, ribozymes) and its impact on their biological activity; Catalysis in nanoenviroments and nanostructures; Non-enzymatic polymerization of natural and modified nucleic acids; Molecular in-vitro selection and evolution.
- April 2013: Tenured Associate Professor, Dept of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
- March 2008 - 2013: Non-tenured Associate Professor, FlinT Center, Dept of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
- Sept. 2005 - 2010, Staff Scientist (TSM) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Earth and Environmental Sciences Division (EES-6)
- Jul. 2002 - Aug. 2005, Post-doctoral position with Prof. J. W. Szostak, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital - MGH - joint appointment.
- Feb. 1998 - Jun. 2002, Post-doctoral position with Prof. D. W. Deamer, University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC).
- Feb 1998 Ph.D. in Colloid/Supramolecular Chemistry (biopolymers), ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Prof. P. L. Luisi, advisor), Switzerland. Title "Preparation and Properties of DNA Containing Liposomes."
- May 1994, Diploma in Chemistry (Major: Organic Chemistry, Minor: Polymer Chemistry), ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
- Diploma thesis (Prof P.L. Luisi, advisor): "Self-replication of oleic acid/oleate liposomes with a concomitant enzymatic reaction." (translated)
- Military training Commissioned artillery officer. Actual function: NBC protection officer (captain)
Project directions MANGLER LINKS
- Biomimetic micro- and nanoscale reactors
- Micro- and nanostructured media supported polymerization: Non-enzymatic nucleic acid polymerization and replication
- Primordial membranes
- Self-replicating molecular architectures
- Primitive Membranes and Energy
- On-going collaborations
Non-enzymatic RNA polymerization:
- Prof. P. Nielsen, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark: " A New Nucleic Acid Coding System."
- Dr. James, M. Boncella, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Materials Physics and Applications Division, USA: “Photocatalysis of protocells”
- Prof. W. Weigand, Friedrich-Schiller Universität Jena, Germany: “Inorganic photocatalysis in nanostructures”
- Dr. J. Sutherland, MRC laboratory in Cambridge, UK: “Phosphate amphiphile synthesis and their self-assembly.”
- Dr. P. Ruiz Mirazo, Universidad del País Vasco, Spain: “Single-chain amphiphile structures and primitive metabolisms.”
- Assoc. Prof B. Klösgen and P. Lyngs Hansen University of Southern Denmark, Denmark: “Single chain amphiphile association.”
- Prof. M. Imai, Tohoku University, Japan: “Single-chain amphiphile structure formation and dynamism.”
- Prof. D. Deamer at University of California, Santa Cruz, USA: “Roles of primitive membranes in the emergence of a primitive genetic/catalytic apparatus based on RNA.”
- Assoc. Prof. G. Ashkenazy, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel: “Bioconjugates of peptide and RNA. Characterization of their self-assembly.”
Self-organized media and catalysis:
- Assoc. Prof. S. Tanaka, University of Hiroshima, Japan: “Semi-clathrate characterization.”
- Dr. J. Sutherland, MRC laboratory in Cambridge, UK: “Phosphate amphiphile synthesis”
- Prof. Dr. G. von Kiedrowski, University of Bochum, Germany: “Reversible anchoring of polyelectrolytes (nucleic acids) via disulfide chemistry.”
- 2013 as secondary proposer and management committee member COST Action TD 1308 "Origins and evolution of life on Earth and in the Universe (ORIGINS)"
- 2013 as secondary proposer and management committee member COST Action CM1304 “Emergence and Evolution of Complex Chemical Systems“
- 2011 as co-PI: new nucleic acid coding system from the Danish Council for Independent Research in Natural Sciences
- 2010 Instrument grant from Carlsberg Foundation
- 2010 – 2013 as co-PI: European founding program "Matrix for Chemical IT: MATCHIT." Proposal FP7-ICT-2009-04
- 2008 - 2010 as PI NASA NNH07ZDA001N-EXOB: Exobiology and Astrobiology initiative Proposal 07-EXOB-0023 (524 k$ with overhead or 175 k$/year) transferred to Dr. J. M. Boncella, LANL.
- 2008 - 2010 as co-PI Internal funding at Los Alamos National Laboratory LDRD-ER (945 k$ direct costs or 315 k$/year) transferred to Dr H.-J. Ziock (PI), LANL.
- 2007 as PI LANL Distinguished Scholars program for the support of graduate student summer program (10 k$ direct costs or three month salary).
- 1995 - 1997 Ph.D. Fellowship "Stipendienfonds der Basler Chemischen Industrie zur Unterstuetzung von Doktoranden auf dem Gebiet der Chemie, Pharmazie und Biotechnologie" US$ 45,000 (US$ 15,000/year).
- 2010 to present Editorial Advisor Current Nanoscience
- 2007 Co-chairman of the session entitled "Biocatalysis 3" at the ICBIC XIII, July 15 to 20, Vienna, Austria.
- 2003 - 2008 Associate Editor of BioSystems
- Ad hoc reviewer for Accounts in Chemical Research; Anatomical Record; Astrobiology; Bioessay; Biotechnology and Bioengineering; Biotechnology Journal; Biotechnology Progress; BMC Chemical Biology; Current Nanoscience; Industrial Engineering Chemical Research; Int. J. Mol. Sci.; J. Am. Chem. Soc.; Journal of Molecular Recognition; Langmuir; Nature Communications; Nature Chemistry; Nature Reviews in Genetics; Nanoscale; Orig. Life Evol. Biosphere; RSC Advances; Space science Reviews.
Direction of Ph.D. thesis
Direction of MS thesis
- Richard J.G. Löffler, (main supervisor), SDU, 1/2014 to 12/2014
- Christian K. Christensen (co-supervisor), 1/2014 to 1/2015
- D. Pazhman (co-supervision), SDU, 8/2014-1/2015
- M. Nuong Ngoc Nguyen (co-supervision), SDU, 8/2014-1/2015
- Assoc. Prof. Shinpei Tanaka, University of Hiroshima, Japan (4/2012-4/2013).
- Rafal Wieczorek (1 to 12/2010) Visiting Ph.D student from Prof. P.L. Luisi, University Roma Tre, Italy.
- Agata Chotera (summer intership 2010) Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland.
- Gabriel Piedrafita Fernandez (5 to 8/2010 and 6 to 9/2011) from Dr. Ruiz Mizaro, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University Complutense of Madrid, Spain.
- Sara Murillo (1 to 3/2012) from Dr. Ruiz Mizaro, Department of Logic and Phil. Of Science, University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain.
Direction of post-doctoral associates
Alumni [current position]
- P.M. Loeffler (SDU) 2/2011-6/2014 “Non-enzymatic nucleic acid replication supported by self-assembled interfaces.” [Post-Doctoral associate, SDU, DK]
- Anne Zebitz Eriksen, (SDU, MSc Thesis),10/2012 to 2/2014 "Design, synthesis and self-assembly properties of peptide-RNA conjugates." [Ph.D. Student at DTU, DK]
- Dr. A.N. Albertsen (SDU, Ph.D. thesis) 9/2010-8/2013, "Study of replication processes in minimal self-replicating systems." [Post-doctoral associate, Harvard University, MA, USA]
- Dr. M. C. Wamberg (SDU, Post doc, organic chemistry), 12-2010 to 10-2012 [Analytical Chemist, DB lab A/S, Odense, Denmark].
- Dr. P. L. Pernille (SDU, Ph.D. thesis) 6/2009-6/2013, "DNA supported amphiphile production.” [QEHS Manager at MM Composite Inc. Iowa, USA]
- Dr. R. Wieczorek (SDU, Post doc, peptide and lipid chemistry), 1-2011 to 8-2012 [Post-doctoral associate, Harvard University, MA, USA]
- Dr. M. Dörr (SDU, Post doc, analytical and inorganic chemistry), 10-2009 to 4-2012 [Scientis, Ernest-Moritz-Arndt-University Greifswald, Germany]
- Dr. Michael S. Declue (LANL, Post-doc, organic chemistry) 8/2005-9/2007, [Product Transfer Scientist, Cepeheid, WA, USA].
- Dr. S.E. Maurer (SDU, Post-doc, colloid chemistry) 5/2011 to 1/2012, [Assistant Professor, Central Connecticut State University, CT, USA]
- Dr. R. Wieczorek (University Roma Tre, Ph.D student) 1/2010 to 12/2010 “Investigation on the biogenesis of macromolecules in prebiotic environments.” co-supervision with Prof. P.L. Luisi, University Roma Tre, Italy.
- Dr. S. E. Maurer (UCSC, Ph.D. student) 6/2006-5/2010 “Primitive membranes and their role in the origins of life.”
- W. Jørgensen (SDU) 1/2009- 3/2012
- Joost Groen (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands, MSc thesis), 2/2012 to 8/2012, “Non-enzymatic polymerization of 2´-derivatized RNA in a structured environment.”
- A. N. Albertsen 5/2009 to 7/2010 (SDU, MSc thesis) “Life cycles (growth and division) in Self-replication of amphiphile structures promoted by in-situ catalytic production of building blocks”
- P.M. Loeffler 9/2009 to 10/2010 (SDU, MSc thesis) “Non-enzymatic template-directed RNA-polymerization in a structured environment.”
- Richard J.G. Löffler (SDU), 2/2012 to 8/2012, “Exploration of organic semi-clathrates as structured media for chemical reactions.”
- Per Haystrup Feddersen (SDU), shared with Prof. Victor V. Petrunin (SDU), Measurement of the half-life time of ruthenium complexes in complex chemical systems.
- Anne Zebitz Eriksen 2 to 7/2011 (SDU, BSc thesis) “Interactions between single-chain amphiphile bilayers and PAHs”
Peer-reviewed (Most recent)
- Wamberg, M.C., Wieczorek, R., Lykke Pedersen, P., Kwak, M., de Vries, J.W., Herrmann, A.and Monnard, P.-A.*, “Functionalization of fatty acid vesicles through newly synthesized bolaamphiphile-DNA conjugates.“ Bioconj. Chem., Accepted.
- Albertsen, A.N., Maurer, S. E., Nielsen, K. A. and Monnard P.-A.*: “Transmission of photo-catalytic function in a self-replicating chemical system: in-situ amphiphile production over two protocell generations.” Chem. Comm. 50, 8989-8992.
- Albertsen, A.N., Duffy, C.D., Sutherland, J.D. and Monnard P.-A.*: “Acyl phosphate self-assembly: a case for prebiotic amphiphile mixtures.” Astrobiology, 14, 462-472.
- Löffler, P.M.G., Gronen J., Dörr, M. and Monnard, P.-A.*: (2013) “Sliding over the Blocks in Enzyme-Free RNA Copying – One-Pot Primer Extension in Ice” Plos ONE, 8, e75617.
- Wieczorek, R., Chotera, A., Dörr, M., Luisi, P.L. and Monnard, P.-A.*: (2013) “Formation of RNA phosphodiester bond by histidine containing dipeptides”, ChemBioChem, 14, 217-223. Internal Cover.
- Cape, J. L., Edson, J. B., Spencer, L. P., DeClue, M. S., Ziock, H.-J., Maurer, S. E., Rasmussen, S., Monnard, P.-A. and Boncella, J. M.: (2012) “Phototriggered DNA phosphoramidate ligation in a tandem 5´-amine deprotection / 3´-imidazole activated phosphate coupling reaction.” Bioconjugate Chem., 23, 2014-2019.
- Piedrafita, G., Ruiz-Mirazo, K., Monnard, P.-A., Cornish-Bowden, A. and Montero, F.: (2012) “Viability Conditions for a Compartmentalized Protometabolic System: A Semi-Empirical Approach.” Plos ONE, 7, e39480.
- M. Dörr, M. Loeffler, P. M. G. and Monnard, P.-A.*:”Nonenzymatic, template-directed nucleic acid replication: (2012) Relevance to the origins of information transfer and to novel synthetic metholodogies” Curr. Org. Syn. 9, 735-763.
- Caschera, F., de la Serna, J. B., Löffler, P.M., Rasmussen, T.E., Bagatolli, L.A., Hanczyc, M. and Monnard, P.-A.*: (2011) “Stable Vesicles Composed of Mono- or Dicarboxylic Fatty Acids and Trimethylammonium Amphiphiles.” Langmuir 27, 14078-14090.
- Maurer, S. E. and Monnard, P.-A.*: (2011) “Primitive Membrane Formation, Characteristics and Roles in Emergent Properties of a Protocell.” Entropy, 13, 466-484.
- Cape, J., Monnard, P.-A. and Boncella, J.M.: (2011) “Prebiotically relevant mixed fatty acid vesicles support anionic solute encapsulation and photochemically catalyzed trans-membrane charge transport” Chem. Sci., 2 (4), 661-667.
- Maurer, S. E., DeClue, M.S., Albertsen, A. N., Dörr, M., Kuiper, D. S., Ziock, H., Rasmussen, S., Boncella, J. M., and Monnard, P.-A.*: (2011) “Interactions between catalysts and amphiphile structures and their implications for a protocell model.” ChemPhysChem, 12, 828-835
- Maurer, S. E., Deamer, D. W., Boncella, J. M. and Monnard, P.-A.*: (2009) “Impact of glycerol monoacyl on the stability of plausible prebiotic fatty acid membranes.” Astrobiology, 9, 979-987.
- DeClue, M., Monnard P.-A., Bailey, J., Ziock, H., Boncella, J.W. and Rasmussen, S.: (2009) "Nucleobase Mediated, Photocatalytic Vesicle Formation from an Ester Precursor Molecule", J. Am. Chem. Soc., 131, 931-933
- Monnard P.-A.* and Ziock H.-J.: (2008) Eutectic phase in water-ice: A self-assembled environment conducive to metal-catalyzed non-enzymatic RNA polymerization. Chemistry and Biodiversity, Accepted.
- Monnard, P.-A.* and Szostak, J. W.: (2008) Metal-ion catalyzed polymerization in the eutectic phase in water-ice: A possible approach to template-directed RNA polymerization. J. Inorg. Biochem., 112, 1104-1111.
- Monnard P.-A.*, Declue M. and Ziock, H.-J. (2008) "Amphiphile nanostructures as model for artificial cell-like entities" Current Nanoscience, 4, 71-87. (Invited review to P.-A. Monnard).
- Monnard, P.-A.*, Luptak, A. and Deamer, D.W.: (2007) "Models of primitive cellular life: Polymerases and templates in liposomes." Phys. Trans. R. Soc. B. 362, 1741-1750.
* Corresponding author.
Editor for special issues
- Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems, Eds Fellermann, H., Dörr, M., Hanczyc, M. M., Ladegaard Laursen, L., Maurer, S. E, Merkle, D., Monnard, P.-A. Stoy, K. and Rasmussen, S., MIT Press 2010, ISBN 0-262-29075-8.
- Guest editor of Special Issue "Emergence in Chemical Systems" in Entropy (ISSN 1099-4300).
Conference proceedings and other publications (since 2007)
- Albertsen, A. N. & Monnard P.-A. (2012) Entry: “Lipid protocells” in Encyclopedia of Biophysics. Eds Prof, Roberts & the European Biophysical Societies Association (EBSA), Springer Science.
- Monnard P.-A.* (2011) Entry: “Template-directed synthesis” in Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Eds M. Gargaud, R. Amils, J. Cernicharo, H. J. Cleaves II, K. Kobayashi, D. Pinti, M. Viso, Springer Science.
- Monnard P.-A.* Introduction to the special issue entitled “Emergence in Chemical Systems” in Entropy (ISSN 1099-4300).
- Monnard P.-A.* (2007) "Does the RNA-World still retain its appeal after 30 years of research?" Proceedings of the workshop on "Basic Questions in the Origin of Life." October 2006, Erice, Italy, Orig. Life Evol. Biosphere, 37, 386-390.
- Monnard P.-A.* and Ziock, H. (2007) &quopt;Prospects for the construction of artificial cells or protocells." Proceedings of the workshop on "Basic Questions in the Origin of Life." October 2006, Erice, Italy, Orig. Life Evol. Biosphere, 37, 469-472.
- Co-inventor on US patent application No 20020161219: "Non-enzymatic, cost-effective method for the large-scale synthesis of RNA strands complementary to a specific ribonucleic acid using unprotected mononucleotides."
- Wieczorek, R., Wamberg, M.C., Albertsen, A.N., Löffler, P. M. G., Maurer, S.E., Pedersen, L.P. and Monnard, P.-A.* (2013) “Bottom-up protocell design: Gaining insights in the emergence of complex function(s).” in book "Evolutionary Biology: Exobiology and Evolutionary Mechanisms" Ed. Pontarotti, P. Springer‐ Verlag, Heidelberger Germany. 81-94.
- Monnard, P.-A. and Deamer, D. W. “Membrane self-assembly processes: steps towards the first cellular life.” in book on minimal cells (eds: Luisi, P.L.)
- Maurer, S.E. and Monnard P.-A. “Integration of primative metabolic, genetic, and structural protocell components under simulated early earth conditions.” In "Astrobiology: Physical Origin, Biological Evolution and Spatial distribution."
- Monnard, P.-A.* (2008) "The Dawn of the RNA-world: non-enzymatic RNA polymerization from monoribonucleotides under prebiotically plausible conditions" in "Prebiotic Evolution and Astrobiology." (eds: Lazcano, A. and Wong, J.T.F.), Landes Bioscience, TX.
- S. Rasmussen, [10 authors], P.-A. Monnard, [10 authors] and W. Woodruff (2007) "Assembly of a minimal protocell in "Protocells: Bridging nonliving and living matter" (eds; S. Rasmussen, M. Bedau, L. Chen, D. Krakauer, D. Deamer, N. Packard, and P. Stadler), MIT Press book, Boston, MA.
* Corresponding author.
Invited and contributed presentations (2009 to present) (57 total, 41 invited)
(2014) The Second UCL Symposium on the Origins of Life, UCL, London, July 21. “Prebiotic amphiphiles, early membranes and protocell functions.“ (Invited)
(2014) SysChem conference, June 9-12, San Sebastian, Spain. “Observing dynamic behaviors in minimal self-replicating chemical systems and the transmission of functions between generations.” (Invited)
(2014) Seminar series of the Laboratorium für Organische Chemie, ETH Zürich, March 28, Zurich, Switzerland. “Catalysis in heterogeneous media: An approach to the chemical implementation of biochemical processes.” (Invited)
(2014) Seminar series of the URPP Solar Light to Chemical Energy Conversion (LightChEC), March 27, Zurich, Switzerland. “Bio-inspired chemical systems capable of converting resources and energy from their environment” (Invited)
(2013) Towards Artificial Cells: Novel Advances in Bottom-Up Cell Design and Construction, Institute of Physics (IOP), November 27, London, UK. “Interfacial model for the bottom-up design of protocells.” (Invited)
(2013) Euro-Intelligent Materials 2013, Sept 25-27, Kiel, Germany. “Bio-inspired chemical systems capable of converting resources from their environment.”
(2013) Emergence in Chemical Systems Conference 2013, June 17-22, Anchorage, Alaska, USA. "Replication of information in Chemical Systems.“ (Invited)
(2013) 1st Workshop on Education in Astrobiology, June 6 to 9, Höör, Sweden. “Prebiotic Chemistry of compartmentalization, towards protocell assembly.” (Invited)
(2013) Seminar series in Organic/Biophysics, Ben Gourion University of the Negev, May 19, Beer Sheva, Israel. “Catalysis in heterogeneous media: An approach to the chemical implementation of biochemical processes“. (Invited)
(2013) Seminar series on Biophysics, May 7, Memphys center, SDU. “Catalysis in heterogeneous media: An approach to chemical reactions.” (Invited)
(2012) 16th Evolutionary Biology Meeting, Sept 18 to 21, Marseilles, France. “Bottom-up protocell design: Gaining insights in the emergence of complex function(s).” (Invited).
(2012) 13th international conference on the simulation & synthesis of living systems, July 19 to 22, East Landing, Michigan, USA. “Protocellular Energetics and Autonomous Functions” presented by A.N. Albertsen.
(2012) 13th international conference on the simulation & synthesis of living systems, July 19 to 22, East Landing, Michigan, USA. “Towards Protocell Embedded Replication of Nucleic Acids” presented by P.M.G. Löffler.
(2012) ACS meeting Spring National Meeting, March 25 to 29, San Diego, USA. “Eutectic phases in water-ice : an efficient medium for biopolymerization.” presented by P.M.G. Löffler (Invited)
(2011) COST Action CM0703 Working Group 3, December 9 and 10, Odense M, Denmark. “Single chain amphiphile membranes and their potential to sustain chemical reactions.” (Invited lecture)
(2011) COST Action CM0703, CHEMBIOGENESIS 2011, October 27 to 30, Heraklion, Greece. “Exploring single chain amphiphile self-assembly and their possible roles in light transduction.” (Invited Guest lecture).
(2011) ESF-COST Conference on Systems Chemistry III, October 23 to 28, Heraklion, Greece. “Heterogeneous self-assembled media for biopolymerization” (Invited)
(2011) Second International Neurodegenerative Diseases & Genomics Symposium, October 10-11, Roma, Italy. “Non-Enzymatic biopolymerization reactions supported by heterogeneous media.” (Invited)
(2011) MRC laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK. Francis Crick lecture series. “Non-Enzymatic biopolymerization reactions supported by heterogeneous media: a potential solution to the emergence of an RNA world.” (Invited)
(2011) ISSOL conference, July 3 to 8, Montpelliers, France. ”Attempt at a Systemic Design of a Protocell: Connecting information, Metabolism and Container.”
(2011) Origins of Life – Brainstorming Workshop, CERN, May 20, Geneva, Switzerland. ”Research on the origins of life: How to handle this problem? Complex systems” (Invited)
(2011) Biophysical Unit, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), March 9, Bilbao, Spain. “Self-assembly, self-replication and reproduction: the three processes that shape a protocell.” (Invited)
(2011) Department of Logic and Phil. Of Science, University of the Basque Country, March 8, San Sebastian, Spain. “Can emergent properties be realized in chemical complex systems?” (Invited)
(2010) Meeting of the Alumni of the Department of Physics and Chemistry at the University of Southern Denmark. November 13th, Odense M, Denmark. “What is FLiNT?” (Invited)
(2010) 12th international conference on Artificial Life, August 19-23, Odense, Denmark " Designing a Protocell: Attempt at a Systemic Design linking Information, Metabolism and Container." presented by Dr. S.E. Maurer.
(2010) 12th international conference on Artificial Life, August 19-23, Odense, Denmark, "Possible role of ice in the synthesis of polymeric compounds." presented by Dr. Mark Dörr.
(2010) 38th COSPAR Scientic Assembly, July 18-25, Bremen, Germany “Nucleobase-mediated, photocatalytic production of amphiphiles to promote the self-assembly of a simple self-replicating protocell."
(2010) Gordon Research Conference on Origins of Life, January 10-15, Galveston, Texas, USA. “Linking a catalytic reaction to the replication of primitive membranes: A step towards protocell integration.” (Invited)
(2010) 38th COSPAR Scientic Assembly, July 18-25, Bremen, Germany "Possible role of ice in the synthesis of polymeric compounds. " presented by Dr. Mark Dörr (Invited to Monnard).
(2010) Friedrich-Schiller Universitaet Jena, Deutsche Chemische Gesellschaft seminar series, June 9, Jena, Germany. “Self-assembled amphiphile structures: Could there be more to expect than simple compartments?” (Invited)
(2009) ESF-COST action meeting, October 23 to 27, Lake Balaton, Hungary. With Dr. S. Rasmussen. “Coupling of a minimal protocellular information, metabolic and container system: Status report.” (Invited)
(2009) ESF-COST “Systems Chemistry II: Evolution and Systems”, October 18 to 23, Lake Balaton, Hungary. “Biopolymerization in self-assembled, structured media.”
(2009) European Systems & Synthetic Biology-2009 Meeting in Evry-Paris, France, Sept. 14-15. “Genetic material synthesis in structured environments” (Invited)
(2009) BioControl Workshops, August 24-28, Syddansk Universitet, Odense, Denmark. “Bioinspired chemical systems: toward the construction of biomimetic reactors and protocells” (Invited)
(2009) Carnegie Insitution of Washington, Washington DC, USA, June 30. “Protocell formation: the role of “primitive” membranes”. (Invited)
(2009) “Emergence in Chemical Systems 2.0” June 22-26, Anchorage, Alaska, USA. “Non-enzymatic Polymerization of RNA in water-ice” (Invited)
(2009) Conference "Applied Industrial Synthetic Biology in Europe - Status Quo and Perspectives." April 16 and 17 2009, Freiburg, Germany. “Investigation of micro- and nanoscale self-assembled environments for synthetic Biology.“ (Invited)
(2008) ESF-COST “Systems Chemistry”, October 3 to 8, Acquafredda di Maratea, Italy. “Nucleobase-mediated, photocatalytic production of amphiphiles to promote the self-assembly of a simple, self-replicating protocell.”
Media coverage (following several interviews)
RNA polymerization in frozen solutions
- Discovery Magazine, February 2008, "Did Life begin in Ice? A radical new theory points to a frosty Origin."
- New Scientist, August 12, 2006 "Sub-zero survivors"
- Focus (German newspaper) of August 30. 2004 "Eisige Wiege des Lebens."
Membranes, biomimetic reactors and protocells
- Dec. 20, 2011, Cutting edge chemistry in 2011: What discoveries caused the biggest buzz in chemistry labs in 2011? With the help of an expert panel of journal editors Chemistry World reviews the ground breaking research and important trends in this year's crop of chemical science papers: about 2011 Chem Sci, 2, 661-667.
- 2011 January 21st, Highlight of our collaborative work with LANL on PAH functions in primitive membranes in Chemistry World.
- 2010 September 17, Interview by Science News on upcoming paper in Nat. Commun., appeared in October 23th webissue.
- 2010 on National Geographic Channel Feb.
- Feb. 14, 2009 Interview by a National Geographic TV team.
- Interview by D. Fox, on the emergence of protocellular life. Published Janury 19, 2009 in New Scientist issue 2691
- Interview by a National Geographic TV team, 2007.
- Wall Street Journal April 2, 2004 "Researchers Exploring 'What Is Life' Seek to Create a Living Cell."
- The Scientist, 2003, 17(23): 28. "Darkness before the dawn of Biology"
- News Focus, Science, 296, 647-648 (2002).