The MPBC Minimal Biology implements an ambitious, innovative ground-breaking research programme, aiming for fundamental new insights and transformative outcomes. By a range of interdisciplinary, cutting-edge projects, the Centre will address three complementary and interrelated foundational research themes:
- elucidation and application of principles of synthetic cellularity/protobiology towards creating a minimal artificial cell;
- development and application of engineering principles to craft organizing architectures within proto- and living cells using synthetic subcellular nanostructures produced de novo from minimal, custom designed, peptide-based building blocks; and
- design and utilization of a synthetic, minimal genome as a tool to create programmable, nature-derived nano-engineering devices with the ultimate aim of achieving a step-change in the editing and repair of erroneous genetic code in organisms.
Collectively, through complementary and integrated approaches, MPBC will provide breakthrough knowledge, understanding and methodologies to underpin the new paradigm of minimal biology.
The MPBC approach is collaborative, founded on common and shared scientific interests, and aims to synergistically extend and develop current research portfolios to promote and intensify the scientific and intellectual framework underpinning minimal biology. The MPBC will be instrumental to maintain the competitive posture of the UK and Germany and safeguard future opportunities in this rapidly emerging field, facilitate the development of cognate scientific areas such as Origins of Life research, and bring internationally leading teams together with a coherent mission and shared aspirations.