Recent advances in synthetic biology have led to engineered organisms with novel genetic programmes that perform functions from computation through to complex metabolic processes. There's now a great need for tools to design these organisms and learn more about the interaction of genes, phenotype and the environment. In this SynBio Forum we explore the work of Prof Chris Voigt (MIT) and Dr Somenath Bakshi (Harvard University): two synthetic biologists who are creating revolutionary new insights into gene regulation and how we might harness regulatory mechanisms for DNA engineering.
Prof Chris Voigt (MIT) works on developing a programming language for cells to connect and optimize complex DNA circuits and programs. His lab uses this approach to engineer prokaryotic gene clusters by eliminating native regulation and gaining complete control and understanding of a cluster to allow optimised expression and transfer between host organisms. His vision is that a future designer would be able to mix-and-match modular clusters to build a synthetic organism.
Dr Somenath Bakshi (Harvard University): is a single-molecule biophysicist interested in the inner world of microbes. His research involves understanding how bacterial cells cope with changing environments using ultra-precise time-lapse imaging, single-molecule counting, and genetics to quantitatively study the stress-response dynamics in bacteria at genome scale.
Talks and dialogue will be followed by an afternoon tea reception