Soichiro Tsuda is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Univeristy of the West of England Bristol, UK. His current research subject is the development of biological (micro)robotic devices using Physarum slime moulds.
He became fascinated by the mystery of life through his experience in feeding living things, such as insects, dogs and a turtle, in his childhood. Later he decided to make elucidating the mystery a career. While studying biology at Kobe University he became increasingly interested inc omputational aspects of biological systems and differences between living organisms and machines. For his graduate studies he joined Professor Gunji's Nonlinear Science Laboratory at Kobe University, from where he received his MSc and PhD degrees. He has been collaborating with Dr. Klaus-Peter Zauner from the Univeristy of Southampton since he was a PhD student in Japan. A true slime mould, Physarum polycephalum, has been the main subject of his research since his undergraduate research. The plasmodium of this slime mould is known for its adaptive behaviour. A slime mould is an amoeboid single-cell organism, nevertheless it is very clever in overcoming contradictory situations, for example, when surrounded by chemicals it dislikes, and finding a way out, going beyond their normal behaviour. Here Soichiro Tsuda found an important trait of living organisms, autonomy, which is very diffcult to achieve with conventional technology, and a possibility to contribute to the progress of science using his interests in computers and living organisms. He expects that using biological cells as an integrated part of the conventional computing systems (e.g. robots) would improve their performance in a number of ways. His ultimate goal as a scientist is to understand living organisms in general through building biological-artificial hybrid systems and to realise more life-like systems using biological materials and/or algorithms obtained from biological knowledge.