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SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
July 30 - August 12, 2013
Application Deadline: April 15, 2013

Instructors:
Karmella Haynes, Arizona State University
Julius Lucks, Cornell University
David Savage, University of California, Berkeley
Jeff Tabor, Rice University

The goal of synthetic biology is to enable the predictable reprogramming of cells to execute complex physiological activities. It takes inspiration from our ever-expanding ability to measure and perturb biological systems and the philosophical reflections of Schrodinger and Feynman that rational, physical laws can be used to describe and engineer biology to accomplish useful things. However, biological systems are noisy, massively interconnected, and non-linear. The grand challenge for synthetic biology is therefore how to reconcile the desire for a predictable, formalized design process with the inherent ‘squishiness’ of biology.

This course will focus on how the complexity of biological systems, combined with traditional engineering approaches, results in the emergence of new design principles for synthetic biology. In the lab, students will be introduced to the design-build-test cycle, in which libraries of biological parts are composed into larger modules and evaluated using a variety of high-throughput techniques. Students will work in teams to solve challenges introduced by the instructors and learn how bacterial and eukaryotic regulation of all forms – transcriptional, translational, post-translational, and epigenetic – can be used to engineer cells to do useful things. In addition, internationally-recognized invited speakers will give students a broad overview of applications for synthetic biology, including renewable chemical production and therapeutics, and the current state-of-the-art techniques for both bottom-up and top-down design.
Synthetic biology is an inherently interdisciplinary field.

We encourage students of all backgrounds, whether the very biological or very theoretical, to apply.

Additional Faculty:
Adam Arkin, University of California, Berkeley
Michelle Chang, University of California Berkeley
Andy Ellington, University of Texas at Austin
Justin Gallivan, Emory University
Daniel Gibson, J. Craig Venter Institute
Michael Jewett, Northwestern University
Eric Klavins, University of Washington
Richard Murray, California Institute of Technology
Pam Silver, Harvard Medical School
Chris Voigt, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ron Weiss, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This course may be supported with funds provided by:

Cost (including board and lodging): $3,610
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