About

I am a professor and canada research chair, cross appointed in the department of physics and department of biology at the university of ottawa. My lab is devoted to studying the physical properties of living cells and tissues and you can find out more here: www.pellinglab.net

I’m neither a physicist or biologist but I find myself working at the interface of the two fields (on paper I’m a chemist). This blog is an exploration/documentation of my interests at the interface of biology, technology, art and science. It amazes me how biological systems have become so malleable and plastic with the progress of science and how much control we have over “normal” cellular behaviour in the lab. In my lab, we routinely engineer cells to express foreign genes from different species, manipulate their behaviour and coax them into growing on artificial, often synthetic polymer substrates. This, in addition to the use of cell lines that barely resemble the original cells they were derived from. Its all cheap, mass produced, disposable, kit-based biology. And what we do is “standard” practice.