Associate Professor of Systems Chemistry Sijbren Otto has been awarded a EUR 2.5 million ERC Advanced Grant by the European Research Council. The objective of Otto’s project is building fully synthetic chemical systems, that may be instrumental in making life in the lab.
Otto works on chemical evolution. He discovered a system in which stacks of molecules catalyze their own formation, after which the stacks grow and 'breed' by breaking and re-growing. When he varied the building blocks (the 'food'), Otto even saw something like speciation occur.
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