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5-8 July 2021
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
Europe/Berlin timezone

Compartmentalisation is a key property of life and its role can be
understood from a chemical, biological, physical, and material
standpoint with informed applications in biotechnology, origin of
life, and cell biology. This course provides a glimpse into this
fascinating, interdisciplinary world.

This school provides lectures and hands-on tutorials to introduce the
key concepts of protocellular research. The Summer School includes
webinars focused on the practical aspects of making coacervates
microdroplets and lipid vesicles via bulk and microfluidic
methodologies, networking opportunities and targeted careers sessions.

In addition to lectures and tutorials, we will feature plenary
lectures by distinguished scientists working with compartmentalisation
in the fields of origin of life and cell biology and host an afternoon
focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, and careers. You will hear
first-hand stories of how companies grew from fundamental research and
have the opportunity to discuss and network with scientists from
academia and industry.

The Summer School is intended for Master, Diploma, and early stage PhD
students with a background in Natural Science and a keen interest in
compartmentalisation in Origin of Life, Synthetic Biology, or Cellular

All aspects of this summer school will take place online.

A limited number of 40 students will be selected to participate in the
summer school full-time.

Course Overview:

  • Compartmentalisation in origin of life and cell biology
  • Self-assembly of coacervates and lipid vesicles
  • Theory of phase diagrams and Ostwalds ripening
  • Enzyme kinetics in compartments
  • Principle of microfluidic fabrication and applications
  • Basic principles of light microscopy and image analysis
  • Networking & Focus on careers in academia and industry



  • Shrada Das (Blue Matter)
  • Julia Sepulveda (Elvesys)
  • Jessica Ayache (Elvesys)
  • Fabrice Gallou (Novartis)
  • Shruti Rattan (DuPont)
  • Eliott Varon (Direction Generale de l'Aviation Civile)
  • Adam Perriman (University of Bristol, UK)
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
Pfotenhauerstrasse 108 D - 01307 Dresden

The course will accept 40 full participants. Others will have access to the streaming plenary sessions. 

We assume participants will have at least Bachelor-level in any of the following areas: Chemistry, Physics, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Cell Biology.

No prior experience or knowledge protocells is required, but a strong interest in origin of life, synthetic biology or cell biology is required. 

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