Symposiums @ EI
Title: “A synthetic biology approach to genome biology”
Speaker: Dr Giovanni Stracquadanio PhD FHEA, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh
Date: Tuesday 12 February 2019
Place: Jane Rogers Seminar Room, The Earlham Institute, Norwich
For further information, please contact Nicola Patron.
Abstract: Recent advances in synthetic genomics provide unique opportunities to address fundamental questions in biology and medicine. In particular, synthetic genomes and chromosomes can be used as a discovery tool for understanding the rules of life, and as a model platform to test how the genetic information associates with complex phenotypes. Pivotal in this field is the availability of computer aided engineering (CAE) algorithms to design synthetic genomes and machine learning methods to analyse biological data.
In this talk, I will present the methods used to design the synthetic yeast genome and how we are scaling them to synthetic mammalian genomes. I will also show how synthetic chromosomes can be used to study minimal genomes and generate hypotheses of cancer heritability that can be tested in synthetic mammalian cells.
Biography: Giovanni Stracquadanio is a Senior Lecturer in Synthetic Biology at the University of Edinburgh. His lab focuses on Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) methods for synthetic genomics and machine learning methods for cancer genomics and genetics. Dr Stracquadanio obtained a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Catania (Italy) in 2010. He received postdoctoral training in synthetic biology in Joel Bader and Jef Boeke labs at the Johns Hopkins University working on the synthetic yeast genome. Dr Stracquadanio was a main contributor to the Synthetic Yeast (Sc2.0) genome project, pioneering algorithms and developing software at the foundation of the first synthetic eukaryotic genome. He has also developed tools used in large-scale synthesis projects, streamlining chromosomes engineering and the assembly of biological pathways. In 2014, he moved to the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Oxford to work on cancer genetics, in Gareth Bond’s lab; here, he focused on studying how high-frequency inherited p53 mutations affect the risk of cancer. In 2016, Dr Stracquadanio established the first computational biology lab at the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering of the University of Essex, and in 2017 received the Wellcome Trust Seed Award in Science. In 2019, he joined the School of Biological Sciences at University of Edinburgh as a Senior Lecturer in synthetic biology.