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Our Research

How does Chemistry become Biology? Is there life outside Biology? We are interested in these types of deep questions as intellectual stimuli for the development of new technologies at the Living/Non-living interface. Our work aims to explore and develop novel concepts and practical innovations through wide-ranging cross-disciplinary activities using new experimental and theoretical protocols.

By developing a portfolio of protocell models, the Centre of Protolife Research seeks to generate transformative ideas concerning the functional self-integration of matter. We aim to design and chemically construct compartmentalized micro-ensembles of integrated components that collectively exhibit key aspects of biological behaviour such as basic autonomy and teleonomic organization.

We aim to spearhead advances in Living Technologies focused on the ex novo synthesis of minimal life constructs, for use in areas such as light harvesting, carbon fixation, remote sensing,  monitoring and delivery of therapeutic agents, the development of microscale and nanoscale motors and actuators, and decontamination of water-based environments.

 Currently, the research program at the Centre for Protolife Research is focused on five exciting themes: