Molecular Origins of Life, Munich 2020



Due to rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 the meeting will be held online.

To the attention of registered attendees!

If you have not received an email from about the details of the event please contact us asap.


The biannual Molecular Origins of Life, Munich addresses one of the most fundamental questions of science: How could life originate on Earth? With more than 20 lectures accompanied by discussion sessions and over 150 participants, this international conference brings together scientists from wide range of disciplines, namely: astrophysics, biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, geobiology, geochemistry and theoretical physics. Only the combined effort from renowned experts from various disciplines can be successful in retracing the origins of life under experimental conditions and pave the way towards answering some of the most pertinent questions: What were the conditions on early Earth? Which chemicals could serve as precursors for the synthesis of living systems on Earth and on other planets? How did the very first genetic material in lifeforms develop? How could Darwinian evolution emerge? What were the first metabolic pathways? The conference's aim is to represent and to discuss the state of the art in the origin of life field.  

The Molecular Origins of Life, Munich 2020 is sponsored by DFG funded Collaborative Research Center 235 Emergence of Life and Origins Excellence Cluster.

Attendance to the conference is free of charge but registration is mandatory!

    • 11:00 AM 11:25 AM
      Construction and Evolution of a Synthetic Cell 25m
      Speaker: Tetsuya Yomo (East China Normal University)
    • 11:25 AM 11:50 AM
      Reconstituting cytoskeletal systems in artificial cells 25m
      Speaker: Marileen Dogterom (TU Delft)
    • 11:50 AM 12:00 PM
      Session I: Panel Discussion

      with Marileen Dogterom & Tetsuya Yomo

    • 12:00 PM 12:25 PM
      3D Presentation Rosetta-Philae – The Detection of Organic Molecules on the Surface of a Cometary Nucleus 25m
      Speaker: Uwe Meierhenrich (Institut de Chimie de Nice)
    • 12:25 PM 12:50 PM
      Traces of life in very old rocks – what is convincing and what not? 25m
      Speaker: Joachim Reitner (Georg-August-University of Goettingen)
    • 12:50 PM 1:00 PM
      Session II: Panel Discussion
    • 3:00 PM 3:25 PM
      Chemistry in Protoplanetary Disks 25m
      Speaker: Thomas Henning (MPI for Astronomy)
    • 3:25 PM 3:50 PM
      RNA Polymerization in Pre-biotic Environments: Experiments with the Planet Simulator McMaster's Origins of Life Laboratory 25m
      Speaker: Ralph Pudritz (McMaster University)
    • 4:00 PM 4:25 PM
      Reconstructing Prebiotic and Biotic Chemistry Using Molecular Isotopic Structures 25m
      Speaker: John Eiler (California Institute of Technology)
    • 4:25 PM 4:50 PM
      The role of zircon in the search for Earth’s earliest biosphere 25m
      Speaker: Elizabeth Bell (UC Los Angeles)
    • 11:00 AM 11:25 AM
      Approaching Biological Complexity: Beyond Self-Assembly 25m
      Speaker: Jan van Esch (TU Delft)
    • 11:25 AM 11:50 AM
      Coacervate Dynamics and the Origin of Life 25m
      Speaker: Stephen Mann (University of Bristol)
    • 12:00 PM 12:25 PM
      Harnessing chemical energy for activation and joining of prebiotic building blocks 25m
      Speaker: Longfei Wu (MRC LMB, UK)
    • 12:25 PM 12:50 PM
      Shedding UV light on the common origins of RNA and DNA 25m
      Speaker: Rafal Szabla (University of Edinburgh)
    • 3:00 PM 3:25 PM
      The Sequence Space of Nonenzymatic RNA Copying 25m
      Speaker: Daniel Duzdevich (HHMI)
    • 3:25 PM 3:50 PM
      A Self-Assembly Approach to Uncovering Possible Ancestors of RNA 25m
      Speaker: Nicholas V. Hud (Georgia Institute of Technology)
    • 4:00 PM 4:25 PM
      Assembly of Functional Ribozyme from Short Oligomers by Enhanced Non-enzymatic Ligation 25m
      Speaker: Lijun Zhou (HHMI)
    • 4:25 PM 4:50 PM
      Asymmetric Amplification in Peptide-Catalyzed Formation of C4 Sugars from Nearly Racemic Amino Acids 25m
      Speaker: Donna Blackmond (Scripps Research)
    • 11:00 AM 11:25 AM
      How long ago was the Beginning? Looking for Life Signatures in ≥3.7 Billions-of-years-old Greenland Rocks 25m
      Speaker: Allen Nutman (University of Wollongong)
    • 11:25 AM 11:50 AM
      Quantifying the effects of abiotic H2 production on carbon metabolism in serpentinization systems 25m
      Speaker: William Orsi (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich)
    • 12:00 PM 12:25 PM
      Prebiotic selection pressures shape the evolution of protocells 25m
      Speaker: Sudha Rajamani (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research)
    • 12:25 PM 12:50 PM
      Roadmap to building a cell 25m
      Speaker: Christophe Danelon (TU Delft)
    • 3:00 PM 3:25 PM
      Searching for early proteins in randomness 25m
      Speaker: Klára Hlouchová (Charles University in Prague)
    • 3:25 PM 3:50 PM
      Prebiotic Membranes Bind Protocell Building Blocks and Catalyze Formation of Biopolymers 25m
      Speaker: Roy A. Black (University of Washington)
    • 4:00 PM 4:25 PM
      Selection via Phase Separation 25m
      Speaker: Christoph Weber (MPI PKS)
    • 4:25 PM 4:50 PM
      Onset of natural selection in populations of autocatalytic heteropolymers 25m
      Speaker: Sergei Maslov (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)