I spoke last week with mechanical and biomedical engineer Allen Liu, who’s now on sabbatical at Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried just outside Munich—one of Europe’s research centers on synthetic cell development. His own lab is at the University of Michigan, so he called me from Germany for our scheduled interview. We were first in touch regarding my coverage of the Dutch Synthetic Cell Symposium at Delft where he was a keynote speaker this past summer.
Allen Liu is originally from Taiwan and his cultural roots are clearly evident in his gracious professional communications. Not surprisingly, he’s received a National Science Foundation grant for his synthetic (artificial) cell project and is currently in the swirl of some of Europe’s most cutting edge science. Liu was also one of the speakers—and perhaps the youngest—at the NSF meeting in Alexandria, Virginia on synthetic and artificial cell development earlier this year.
Allen Liu heads the Liu Lab at the University of Michigan—where the focus is on the mechanobiology of biological membranes—and he is a professor in the university’s departments of mechanical and biomedical engineering.