About the Workshop
Growth and division of compartments is a built-in and defining feature of all living systems. The earliest forms of life manage division by mechanisms resembling separation of colloidal particles. More advanced life forms utilize sophisticated and powerful protein artworks to sort, organize and divide molecular ensembles leading to the birth and fission of cellular compartments. That extant life forms display both these phenomena, evidenced in the growth and division of lipid droplets, condensates, organelles and cells, suggests that these pathways have met, competed and possibly developed alliances throughout evolution. We have learned a lot from the birth and fission of compartments, both in its native and reconstructed forms. Recent breakthroughs on the behavior of nanoconfined membrane systems and condensates to structural-function analyses on mechanoenzymes, highlight the interdisciplinary and multifaceted nature of this process that is beginning to be appreciated by a large community. Importantly, such research has inspired technological advances in experimental techniques and the development of smart materials or templates that embody principles of self-replicating living matter. This EMBO Workshop intends to gather leaders in the fields of cell and computational biology, physics and engineering to reveal and discuss the nature and mechanisms by which compartments form and divide. In doing so, we intend to develop a unified language to understand this fascinating phenomenon that is essential to life.