The Promise of Synthetic Cells – public online lecture

On the occasion of the SynCell2022 conference, Prof. Dr. Marileen Dogterom will give a public online lecture on synthetic cell research on Thursday, May 19, from 20:00 to 21:00 CEST (UTC+2). She will discuss the progress and challenges of building synthetic cells, describe the potential for new technology, and the impact, risks, and opportunities of synthetic cells on society.

All living organisms such as humans, plants, and bacteria are made up of cells. These are the smallest units of life capable of independent reproduction. Although very small, these building blocks of life are very complex. For a long time, the standard approach in biology to studying them has been to use a top-down strategy, taking an existing cell and modifying it, one element at a time. But some researchers have taken a different approach, reconstructing biological processes from the bottom up, with the ultimate ambition of building complete cells from scratch, i.e. synthetic cells.

Marileen Dogterom, Professor at Delft University of Technology and Medical Delta Professor at Leiden University, is fascinated by cells. During her lecture, she will take us into the research on synthetic cells. She will explain why researchers want to understand cells and build them, what the progress and challenges have been in their joint effort to build synthetic cells, and also what we can do with this knowledge. Finally, she will present what could be the impact, risks, and opportunities, of synthetic cells on society.

Prof. Dr. Marileen Dogterom is an internationally renowned expert in experimental cell biophysics. Since 2017, she has been leading the Dutch BaSyC (Building a Synthetic Cell) consortium and is one of the initiators of the European Synthetic Cell Initiative.

Read more about Marileen Dogterom

This public lecture is part of the SynCell2022 conference: an international conference for scientists on engineering synthetic cells and organelles. Although registration is required to attend the conference, this lecture will be accessible online for all via a live stream on YouTube.


  • When: Thursday, May 19
  • Time: 20:00-21:00 (CEST; UTC+2)
  • Where: online (link below)

Public online lecture on the promise of synthetic cells by Marileen Dogterom – YouTube