On May 18, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, visited the campus of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands (TU Delft). The visit started at the Bionanoscience Department, where our researchers from BaSyC and the European Synthetic Cell Initiative (SynCellEU) were honored to show their lab. The teams of Prof. Marileen Dogterom, Prof. Cees Dekker and Dr Christophe Danelon talked about their research on cells, the basic units of life, and the challenge of building functional cells from scratch.
Prof. Marileen Dogterom said: “We were delighted to welcome them and share our long-term vision for the SynCellEU initiative. This visit confirms the interest in synthetic cells. Synthetic cell research will provide technology for a better world, but a Europe-wide effort now is key to realizing this.”
After the introduction on synthetic cells by Professor Marileen Dogterom (photo), our guests headed to the lab where postdocs and PhD students offered a more in-depth look at different approaches to understand how cells work and mimic their natural processes.
Mariya Gabriel commented: “Thank you for your warm welcome, it was a pleasure to visit the Bionanoscience Department. It was great to meet enthusiastic young researchers, to discuss how they study cells and try to reproduce their mechanisms in the lab. Their research is leading to knowledge to address major societal challenges.”
PhD students Celine Cleij and Marijn van den Brink show to Queen Máxima of the Netherlands how they reproduce the mechanisms involved in the process of cell division. Photographer: Sicco van Grieken.
PhD Roman Barth presents nanotechnology tools to visualize how single protein motors can form loops in a single DNA molecule. From left to right: Prof. Cees Dekker, Rector and President of the Executive Board of TU Delft Tim van der Hagen, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, and PhD student Roman Barth. Photographer: Sicco van Grieken.
Postdoc Ilina Bareja shows networks of cellular filaments encapsulated in water-in-oil droplets. She is studying the role of these filaments in cell division . Photographer: Sicco van Grieken.
The tour of the campus then continued with a walk through The Green Village, a field lab for sustainable innovation, followed by a round-table discussion about science and innovation, and a visit to the research institute for quantum computing QuTech.
Read more about the full visit here