prof. dr. Marileen Dogterom
Technical University Delft
Prof. dr. Marileen Dogterom is a University Professor at the TU Delft and Medical Delta Professor at Leiden University. She is internationally renowned expert in experimental cell biophysics with a pioneering track record in biophysical research of the microtubule cytoskeleton. Over the years, her group has systematically worked on increasing functional biological complexity in reconstitution experiments, which paved the way for her current and future ambition to build synthetic cells. She published ~100 papers in high-ranking physics and biology journals. Dogterom actively and frequently collaborates with leading national and international researchers in both physics and biology. Since 2017, she leads the Dutch Consortium BaSyC (Building a Synthetic Cell) and is one of the initiators of the European Synthetic Cell Initiative.
In my group we are interested in understanding how dynamic and force-generating properties of the cytoskeleton contribute to the spatial organization of cells. I will highlight recent advances (and challenges) in our efforts to reconstitute minimal, functional cytoskeletal systems in artificial confinement. An example is the reconstitution of basic mitotic spindles in microfluidic droplets. These efforts fit in a long-term ambition to build, in collaboration with others, a minimal synthetic cell from scratch.