Otto, Prof. Sijbren
Systems chemistry, origins of life, catalysis, supramolecular chemistry
Sijbren Otto is Professor of Systems Chemistry. He studies ‘chemical evolution’. His research group developed a model system of molecules that can make copies of themselves, and showed that diversity can also occur as a result of the mutation of replicators.
Up to now, chemistry research has primarily focused on developing stable systems. But biological systems depend on development and decay, on synthesis and degradation, and on the succession of life and death. Sijbren Otto wants to know whether these biological principles can also be applied to synthetic chemistry. Self-assembling and self-replicating macromolecules play an important role in that process. Synthetic chemical systems of such molecules could also undergo a Darwinian type of evolution. A first step towards synthesized life, Otto hopes.
In 2017, he was awarded a prestigious € 2.5 million ERC grant to investigate the possibilities of synthesizing life de-novo in the lab. Otto hopes to take the next steps to bridge the gap between chemistry and biology by building fully synthetic systems. These systems have the essential elements of life: replication, metabolism and compartmentalization. Up to now, it has not been possible to integrate these characteristics in a fully synthetic system.
- Synthetic life created in Groningen (Kunstmatig leven gemaakt in Groningen)
Using chemical evolution to create life in the lab (
Leven maken in het lab met chemische evolutie
Previously in the news
- Complex molecules emerge without evolution or design, RUG/Science Linx, 17 Januari 2019
- Sijbren Otto wins prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry Award, 8 May 2018
- Evolving molecules point to principles of life
- Two ERC Advanced Grants for UG scientists
- Sijbren Otto and the Origin of Life
- The origins of chemical species (De oorsprong van chemische soorten)
- Network of scientists in chemistry want to create new life (Netwerk van chemici wil leven maken)
- Grants worth millions for three top researchers from Groningen (Miljoenenpremies naar drie Groningse toponderzoekers)
- Sijbren Otto appointed Associate professor in Systems Chemistry (Sijbren Otto benoemd tot adjunct-hoogleraar Systems Chemistry)
ERC Starting Grant for Dr Otto
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|Last modified:||12 September 2019 3.21 p.m.|