We are broadly interested in the dynamics and organization of complex systems far from equilibrium -- this naturally places our research at the interfaces of multiple traditional disciplines: biology, physics, chemistry and engineering. We are specifically interested in the topological and material origins of the characteristics of living processes — our approach is to recreate in the laboratory, the emergence of specific and observable processes of living systems to shed light on early evolution, the transitions therein and to inform us about the mechano-chemical fabric underlying the living state.
We develop quantitative experiments combined with conceptual frameworks following two broad strategies:
(i) We directly probe biological complexity at different spatio-temporal scales -- these studies range from probing the mechano-chemical properties of single
molecules and cells to the collective dynamics of spreading/expanding microbial populations and multi-species ecologies
(ii) We develop simple physico-chemical systems that display the emergent dynamics of living processes -- these include studies on synthetic self-replication and origin of life scenarios and the design of de-novo (colloidal) building blocks capable of assembly, replication and metabolism.