Media outreach and awards



  • Animation of the work of the Membrane Enzymology group on the building of a synthetic cell: “Synthetic cells for fuel production and volume homeostasis”

  • A presentation Bert gave during a KNG Lezing on Tuesday the 3rd of November 2020, 20:00h.The title of the presentation ” Kunnen wij zelf een levende cel in elkaar zetten? ” translates to “Can we assemble a living cell ourselves?”.

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(more information in Dutch):

Original YouTube link : )

From the KNG website (translated from
KNG stands for Koninklijk Natuurkundig Genootschap (Royal Physics Society). The aim of the KNG is to promote interest in the natural sciences. The society tries to achieve its objective mainly by organizing lectures and other instructive meetings. To this end, the KNG organizes monthly lectures from September to May by speakers active in scientific research.

About the presentation itself (also from the website, translated):
Making life from non-living molecules is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time. Understanding how life can arise will have a huge social impact, but also has enormous economic potential: if we understand how life originates, we will be much better able to understand why living cells sometimes derail (‘disease’ at the cellular level), but we will also be able to develop autonomous systems that perform complex functions (microrobots, targeted drug production and delivery). Living technology is the exploitation of the principles of life in technology. Living technology repairs itself responds to signals from the environment and can evolve. In the future, we will be able to search for and diagnose medicines in a completely different way, by trying to control living systems and having tasks performed autonomously.
The lecture will provide an overview of the state of the art in building complex, living cell-like systems. Developments in the field will be illustrated by examples of recent research


March 2019

  • Lotteke Swier (former PhD student) has won the Max Gruber prize for her publication “Structural insight in the toppling mechanism of an energy-coupling factor transporter” ( She will receive the award during a ceremony on March 29.
  • Biochemicus Bert Poolman probeert de grens tussen leven en dood te begrijpen – [pdf]

January 2019

  • The BaSyc project was featured in De Ingenieur which is a monthly magazine about technological developments in the Netherlands! [pdf]
  • “Creating Life step by step” (Stapje voor stapje leven creëren) by Bert at the Natuurwetenschappelijk Gezelschap Wageningen [pdf]



Bert’s talk at the De Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) on “Towards a metabolism for synthetic cells”.


Dirk talks about his research