Gabriel Coren

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Berkeley, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9327

Approve Date

October 5, 2016

Project Title

Coren, Gabriel Glantz, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'New Materials for Life: Experimentation with 'Biocompatibles' at the Biopolis-Dresden, Germany,' supervised by Dr. Aihwa Ong

Preliminary abstract: Since the reunification of Germany in 1990, Dresden has emerged as a world leader in stem-cell science and tissue-engineering both in Europe and worldwide. Within the city of Dresden is the Biopolis, a jointly state, federal, and commercially funded science city, comprised by the Center for Regenerative Therapies and the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research; and coordinated through the Technischen Universität, Dresden. Researchers in the material and life sciences at Biopolis-Dresden modify stem-cells, harnessing new biotechnologies in order to fabricate semi-organic materials, which are tested for their future applicability in bone, brain and other tissue replacement therapies. These new material objects are called ‘biocompatibles,’ and the experimental and historical conditions for their emergence suggests an unprecedented shift to the way scientists manipulate and modify what is coming to count as living matter. This research project looks at the interplay of technical knowledges in the life and material sciences, the scientists who practice them, and their equivocations regarding the material conditions of their practices. It further explores how experimentation with ‘biocompatibles’ is reconfiguring the biological and material sciences as they together endeavor to create new objects (materials) of potential value for emerging medical and therapeutic milieus. It seeks, ultimately, to situate these new materials within markets old and new, which are being renerated in the context of Dresden’s political and economic history as well as its current urban and industrial revitalization