Lucia Baldauf

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PhD student: Biological Soft Matter


CV / Biography

What is life? – any one scientist can surely not find a comprehensive answer to this fundamental question. The Dutch consortium BaSyC (“Building a Synthetic Cell”) nonetheless dares to adress it, by attempting to build a living organism from the bottom up. Such a synthetic cell should ultimately be able to sustain itself, grow, devide and process its own genetic information.

 

My Research

With my PhD work, I will contribute to the BaSyC collaborative effort by investigating how cell division is driven by the cytoskeleton and how it could be implemented in a minimal synthetic organism. I study contractile actin-myosin networks on model membranes, primarily using advanced microscopy techniques.

 

CV

During my undergraduate studies of Engineering Physics at TU Ilmenau (2012-2017) I gained a broad backgound in physics, chemistry and engineering, and focused particularly on soft matter sciences. The research-oriented nature of my degree has allowed me to delve into different aspects of this fascinating interdisciplinary field: During my BSc I spent six months at the University of Edinburgh, studying how protein monolayers form and behave at interfaces. I completed my year-long MSc project at the University of Amsterdam, where I synthesized anisotropic colloids and investigated their self-assembly behaviour on different length scales. In these projects I have used a variety of techniques ranging from light and electron microscopy to interfacial rheology and SAXS. I passed my MSc with distinction in 2017, and joined the Biological Soft Matter group at AMOLF in 2018. Beside research I very much enjoy science outreach, most recently by participating in open days and supervising advanced science projects for high school students.