The Flux Capacitor – how mitochondria shape the evolution of complexity

The Francis Crick Institute

Crick Institute PhD students Christmas Lecture

Nick Lane is Professor of Evolutionary Biochemistry in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London.

Lane’s research looks at the way energy flow has shaped evolution over 4 billion years, using a mixture of theoretical and experimental work to address the origin of life, the evolution of complex cells and downright peculiar behaviour such as sex. He was a founding member of the UCL Consortium for Mitochondrial Research, and is Co-Director of the UCL Centre for Life’s Origin and Evolution (CLOE). He was awarded the 2009 UCL Provost’s Venture Research Prize, the 2011 BMC Research Award for Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics and Evolution, the 2015 Biochemical Society Award for his outstanding contribution to molecular life sciences and 2016 Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture, the UK’s premier award for excellence in communicating science.

He is the author of four acclaimed books on evolutionary biochemistry, which have sold more than 150,000 copies worldwide, and been translated into 25 languages. He has appeared regularly on TV and radio and speaks in schools and literary and science festivals, including New Scientist Live, the Cheltenham Festival, Hay Festival and Edinburgh Festival.

Lane has also worked for several years in the pharmaceutical industry, as Strategic Director of Medi Cine, a medical multimedia company based in London, where he was responsible for developing interactive approaches to medical education. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society, the Royal Society of Biology and the Biochemical Society.