Stephen Mann is a professor of chemistry, the director of the Centre for Organized Matter Chemistry, and a principal of the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials at the University of Bristol. He studies the chemical synthesis, characterization, and emergence of complex forms of organized matter, focusing on bio-inspired materials, hybrid nanoscale objects, and integrated superstructures. Recently, his research group reported the first examples of solventless liquid proteins, opening up new possibilities in diverse areas of protein-based nanoscience.
During his Radcliffe fellowship, Mann will explore the notion of a “universal biology,” which attempts to delineate the common irreducible factors that define living matter without recourse to a detailed description of its myriad components and mechanisms. The work will study pathways plausibly responsible for the emergence of life from nonliving matter, using an integrative systems approach to cellular autonomy with special attention placed on life as a nanoscale phenomenon. Critical features of the underlying organizational logic will be addressed by experimental studies focused on the biomimetic engineering of protocell models and semisynthetic cells.
Mann received his DPhil from the University of Oxford and is a recipient of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Corday-Morgan Prize, Interdisciplinary Award, and Joseph Chatt Lectureship; the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award; and the Max Planck Research Award for International Cooperation. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 2003 and has published more than 400 scientific papers.