Scholars 2008

2008 Future - Geosciences

Saenz James

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, Department of Earth Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

"Developing a Molecular Proxy for Marine Cyanobacteria" 

The Saenz lab is an international team of scientists who share a common interest in understanding how cell membranes work as an organizing principle for life. The lab is located in the heart of the Dresden Johanstadt campus at the B CUBE Center for Molecular Bioengineering, which is part of the Technical University in Dresden.


The Saenz laboratory is focused on understanding the design principles of living membranes. In particular the understanding of  how lipids contribute to membrane function and organismal fitness from synthetic protocells to microorganisms. The research topics range from how membranes contributed to the origin of cellular life, to identifying membrane-based targets for antibiotic resistance. One of the central aims is to mine a repertoire of biological innovations from the simplest microorganisms to elucidate the minimal set of components required to assemble a robust and responsive synthetic cell membrane.