We are excited to announce our last speaker! Jan van Hest won the Spinoza Prize in 2020. He is a professor and group leader at the Eindhoven University of Technology. There he is also the director of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems. His research aims to construct smart compartments with life-like features. He develops this along two lines of research: nanomedicine and artificial cells. He developed artificial nanoreactors that can be incorporated as artificial organelles in living cells to complement or affect cellular processes. His research in nanomedicine focuses mainly on medicine transport systems and synthetic vaccines. Next to his work at the University, he is also the joint founder of multiple start-ups: Encapson, FutureChemistry, Noviosense and Noviotech.
During this symposium, he will focus on a synthetic cell platform that he and his group recently developed. This synthetic cell platform can mimic the crowdedness of the cell’s cytoplasm and can function as a semipermeable membrane. This allows it to not only mimic living cells from a structural perspective, but also introduces life-like features such as adaptivity, communicative features and motility. These artificial cells are of interest from a fundamental point of view, but also in the field of controlled drug delivery and regenerative medicine applications.