Making Living Matter from the bottom up

Ramin Golestanian (University of Oxford) — March 17, 2016

There are many ways to study life, and one that is particularly appealing to physicists is regarding it as self-organized active soft matter that is away from equilibrium ``just the right way’’. In this Colloquium, I will discuss this notion, and provide a number of examples of how we can begin to put together simple systems - from basic ingredients that we fully understand - that would exhibit the kind of active behaviour we find in living systems. I will address the question of stability of a living system made of active components and propose a fundamentally new mechanism in which a competition between chemical signalling and cell division can determine the homeostatic conditions at the systemic level.

Biography :
Ramin Golestanian is Professor of Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics at the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics, University of Oxford. He obtained his BSc from Sharif University of Technology, and his MSc and PhD from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences (IASBS), in Iran. He has been a KITP postdoctoral fellow at UC Santa Barbara, and has had academic positions at IASBS and the University of Sheffield before moving to Oxford. He has held many visiting positions, including CNRS Visiting Professor, Visiting Professor at College de France, Frederic Joliot Visiting Chair at ESPCI, and Visiting Scholar at MIT. He is recipient of the Holweck Medal of the Société Française de Physique and the Institute of Physics.

You can also watch this video on the multimedia site ENS :