This Advanced Lecture Course explores the rapidly developing area of synthetic biology. We will examine how, in the process of trying to engineer new biological systems, we improve our understanding of the naturally evolved biosphere (build-to-understand). In addition, we discuss how synthetic biology is in the process of radically enhancing our ability to create products and processes that are of value to medicine, biotechnology, food security, energy and the environment (build-to-apply). Ideally, synthetic biologists want to be able to integrate defined biological components into functional circuits, pathways and other cellular systems that behave in predictable ways. However, biological systems are far more difficult to construct than electrical circuits, and part of the fascination of synthetic biology is the challenge of identifying what the real rules for predictable bio-assembly are. We will also consider the rapidly developing enabling technologies of synthetic biology, including DNA synthesis and large-scale (genome) assembly methods, CRISPR, robotics, advanced construction strategies for synthetic parts and circuits, and computational design and modelling. The course will be taught by leaders in relevant areas of synthetic biology, and will comprise a balanced combination of lectures, tutorials, structured discussion groups, poster sessions and focused seminars.

Participants should arrive on Sunday 9th September 2018, with the main scientific programme beginning on the morning of Monday 10th September. The course will be completed on the evening of Sunday 16th September, with departures on Monday 17th September.

This unique course will be of value to talented PhD students and early career postdocs who are keen to engage with the exciting opportunities provided by these burgeoning interdisciplinary areas of research. We expect the course to be informative, challenging, exciting and thought-provoking. It will be of value to individuals already working in related areas as well as those wishing to reorientate their research careers.

Lecturers include:

  • Virginia Cornish
  • Phillip Holliger
  • Yoshi Nakamura
  • Yizhi Cai
  • Anne Osbourn
  • Beatrix Süss
  • Verena Siewers
  • Irina Borodina
  • Anke Becker
  • Victor de Lorenzo
  • Vardis Ntoukakis
  • William Shih
  • Britt Wray
  • Gert Bange
  • John McCarthy
  • Mart Loog



  • Call for Applications
    1 Feb 2018
  • Youth Travel Fund Grants
    30 April 2018
  • Deadline for Applications
    30 April 2018
  • Closing times: 23:59 (UTC+01:00)

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