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Helen Pynor Artist in Residence_KI-Erweiterung
Ben Gilbert/Wellcome

Breaking Boundaries Between Art and Sciences

Awards & Grants, IES,

Fostering creativity and out-of-the-box thinking – this is one of the key goals of the EU-funded project RepliFate spearheaded by Maria-Elena Torres-Padilla at Helmholtz Munich. The multidisciplinary and intersectoral consortium focuses on understanding how DNA replication shapes cell fate and determines cancer development. To catalyze new perspectives, the Artist-in-Residence program promotes exchange of ideas and intersectoral interactions between scientist and artists. Three artists were selected in a thorough review process and will now start their residencies at Helmholtz Munich and other collaborating institutions.

The EU-project RepliFate investigates the role of DNA replication as a determinant of cell fate and cancer. Alongside nine other European institutions, Helmholtz Munich, represented by Maria-Elena Torres-Padilla, is a beneficiary of the program. The project is part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions of the European Commission to develop talents and advance research.

Encouraging New Perspectives

With a focus on fostering collaboration and dialogue between artists and scientists, the RepliFate Artists-in-Residence program offers talented artists the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of cutting-edge biotechnology. Through residencies at leading research institutions across Europe such as Helmholtz Munich, selected artists have the unique opportunity to access laboratories, state-of-the-art equipment, and cooperate with scientists.

Prof. Maria-Elena Torres-Padilla, coordinator of the Artist of Residence programme of RepliFate, is very excited about the future collaboration between art and science: “The Artists-in-Residence program is an exciting opportunity for everyone to learn more, both for the artist and us as scientists, but also for fostering creativity and innovation while promoting a broader societal impact of the research we conduct in RepliFate.”

Start of Residencies in Spring

In a tight selection process three artists were nominated by a jury of scientists and artists: Solveig Lill from Estonia with the project “Faces of Stress and Malignance”, Pei-Ying Lin from Taiwan with the topic “In(Stability) and Damage Repair”, and Helen Pynor from Australia with the theme “Transformation through Replication”. The artists will engage with the RepliFate network from the perspective of their selected theme and present the final outcomes at the final RepliFate conference in 2026.

I’m honoured and very excited to have been selected for this RepliFate artist opportunity, it will be fascinating to work with such high calibre early career scientists, principal investigators and others from the collaborating labs, delving into what promises to be an intriguing transdisciplinary exchange” says Helen Pynor, one of the winners that started her residency at Helmholtz Munich. “The project will extend my prior explorations of liminal ‘threshold’ moments into an investigation of DNA replication, shifting the focus and scale of my previous investigations down to sub-cellular and biomolecular levels, and connecting with fundamental questions about cellular identity, potential and fate, which offer rich and wonderful material for imaginative treatment about shape-changing and the enigmatic nature of fate”.


More information:

The RepliFate project: Selected artists – Replifate

The winning artists and their themes:

Helen Pynor, “Transformation through Replication”,

Solveig Lill, “Faces of Stress and Malignance”

Pei-Ying Lin, “In(Stability) and Damage Repair”