Pieter Rein ten Wolde


One of the grand challenges of this century will be to design and build a minimal cell that can self-replicate, i.e. grow and divide autonomously. This will not only drastically enhance our fundamental understanding of how life works at the cellular scale, but also be of tremendous importance for medicine and health. Due to recent advances in micro-fluids technology, imaging, and theoretical modeling, we can now successfully reconstitute individual modules, for, e.g., energy uptake, timekeeping and cell division. The field has thus reached the stage that we can aim for the next frontier, which is to combine these modules to create a minimal cell.