• Source: Scopus
20132020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Quote

We can already make synthetic cells with an impressive array of abilities - let's go further, and see if we can tackle some of societies biggest problems along the way.

Research profile

After receiving his doctorate in early 2017, Alex joined the group of Prof. Jan van Hest (Bio-Organic Chemistry) at TU/e. Alex's current research is focused on cell-sized, coacervate-based synthetic cells. His expertise in polymer synthesis, self-assembly, and microscopy has led to the development of a modular and robust platform capable of incorporating many different kinds of functional elements. For the last couple of years, Alex has been working together with Jan and an incredible team of researchers to expand the capabilities of this coacervate protocell platform.

Looking ahead, Alex has his sights set on even bigger systems – well, relatively – from the micron to millimetre scale. In 2019, Alex started a collaboration with Prof. Hagan Bayley at Oxford University, with the aim of utilising their expertise in 3D droplet printing to create coacervate-based artificial tissues. The ability to print synthetic cells with spatially well-defined functionalities also provides an interesting avenue for future applications in biomedical engineering.

Academic background

Alex obtained both his bachelor (BSc Nanotechnology, 2012) and postgraduate (PhD Chemistry, 2017) degrees from the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia. He was inspired early in his research career by the incredible potential of self-assembly, which led him to work with Prof. Pall Thordarson for his PhD, who introduced him to the weird and wonderful world of synthetic cells. The aim of Alex’s doctoral thesis was to create an artificial mitochondria by incorporating membrane-bound proteins within nanoscale polymer vesicles, developing expertise in polymer synthesis, bioconjugate chemistry, and advanced nanoparticle characterisation methods along the way. Alex joined the van Hest lab early in 2017 for his first postdoc, and in late 2019 was appointed as an ICMS Fellow.

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  • University of Oxford

    Alexander Mason (Visiting researcher) & Hagan Bayley (Visiting lecturer)

    2019 → …

    Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institutionScientific

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