Synthetic Biology 
July 23 - August 6, 2024

Key Dates
Application Deadline:  March 31, 2024
Arrival: July 23rd by 6pm EST
Departure: August 6th around 12pm EST

CSHL Courses are intensive, running all day and often including evenings and weekends; students are expected to attend all sessions and reside on campus for the duration of the course.

Christian Cuba Samaniego, Carnegie Mellon University
Karmella Haynes, Emory University
Vincent Noireaux, University of Minnesota
Eric Young, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

See the roll of honor - who's taken the course in the past.

Follow us on Twitter @cshlsynbio

Cells are the world’s most sophisticated chemists, and their ability to adapt to changing environments offers enormous potential for solving modern engineering challenges. Nonetheless, biological systems are noisy, massively interconnected, and non-linear, and they have not evolved to be easily engineered. The grand challenge of synthetic biology is to reconcile the desire for a predictable, formalized biological design process with the inherent ‘squishiness’ of biology.

This course focuses on how the complexity of biological systems can be combined with traditional engineering approaches to result in new design principles for synthetic biology. The centerpiece of the course is an immersive laboratory experience in which students work in teams to learn the practical and theoretical underpinnings of synthetic biology research. Broadly, the course explores how cellular regulation (transcriptional, translational, post-translational, and epigenetic) can be used to engineer cells that accomplish well-defined goals.

Laboratory modules cover the following areas:

  • 1. Cell-free Transcription-Translation (TXTL), application to CRISPR and phages

    2. Gene Regulation Technologies – Epigenetic Engineering

    3. Model-driven genetic circuits design and Biomolecular neural networks

    4. DNA Assembly and Design of Golden Gate Expression Cassettes for CRISPR & Metabolic Engineering

Students will first learn essential synthetic biology techniques in a four-day ‘boot camp’ at the beginning of the course. Following the boot camp, they will rotate through research projects in select areas. Students will also interact closely with a panel of internationally recognized speakers who will collectively provide a broad overview of synthetic biology applications, including renewable chemical production and therapeutics, state-of-the-art techniques, case studies in human practices, and socially responsible innovation.

2024 Invited Lecturers:
Khalid Alam, Stemloop, Evanston, IL
Annia Baetica, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Caleb Bashor, Rice University, Houston, TX  
Francesca Ceroni, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom 
Tara Deans, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 
Tom Ellis, Imperial College London, London, England  
Chelsea Hu, Texas A & M University, ,  
Chris Myers, Colorado University, Boulder, CO
Dan Siegal, Gingko, Boston, MA
Kevin Solomon, University of Delaware, Newark, DE  

Application Instructions:

Synthetic biology is an inherently interdisciplinary field. We encourage students of all backgrounds to apply, from experimental biology to very theoretical fields. At the end of your personal statement/essay, please rank your interest in the following major available laboratory modules (from highest to lowest interest):

(1) Cell-free transcription and translation systems to characterize genetic circuits and RNA regulators

(2) Modeling gene expression using ordinary differential equations

(3) DNA Assembly and Design of Expression Cassettes

(4) CRISPR technologies for genome editing and gene regulation

Cost: $4,385 USD

This tuition rate is all-inclusive and includes housing and food. Additional financial aid is available; to indicate financial need, please submit a short stipend request as part of your application materials.

This course is supported with funds provided by: National Science FoundationHoward Hughes Medical Institute.

We would like to acknowledge the following companies that provided invaluable support:
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Equipment: Agilent Technologies, BD Life Sciences, Beckman Coulter Life Sciences, BMG Labtech, Molecular Devices, Promega Life, Tecan, Thermo Fisher Scientific

No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and are accepted into the course.

Before applying, ensure you have (all due March 31):
  1. Personal statement/essay;
  2. Letter(s) of recommendation;
  3. Curriculum vitae/resume (optional);
  4. Financial aid request (optional).
    More details.

If you are not ready to fully apply but wish to express interest in applying, receive a reminder two weeks prior to the deadline, and tell us about your financial aid requirements, click below: