Taking the Minimal Cell to the Minimal Organism

Talk at World Drug Discovery Summit, Copenhagen, Feb 17-19, 2003.

Eric Werner, Ph.D.


With Craig Venter's attempt to construct a minimal cell, the question naturally occurs as to whether we can construct a minimal multicellular organism. A minimal multicellular organism is an organism that has minimal cells with the capacity to form three-dimensional structures dynamically from a single cell. Our work at Cellnomica, Inc., shows that modeling such systems of cells is possible and that the road to constructing a minimal organism may be feasible. We discuss the consequences of this dramatic prospect.