Events & News

SYNTHESIS laboratory exchange

A 6-day intensive exchange laboratory for artists, designers, 
synthetic biologists and engineers at UCL >>more

UCL wins gold at the iGEM competition


Enabling Systems Biology ConferenceApril 11-14, 2011 Registration open >>more

Harden Conference

Synthetic biology: design and engineering through understanding >>more

Recent Articles:

Combining living cells and inorganic materials for biosensors (Oct 2010)
Synthetic Biology: living quarters (Oct 2010)

Our Research

Synthetic gene networks for bioprocess control

Pharmaceutical products have expanded in the last decade to increasingly include high molecular weight proteins, nucleic acids and even whole cells. Critical factors in bioprocessing of these products are often controlled heuristically via the operational parameters of process devices or empirically with cultivation protocols and recipes. We are exploring the ability to control bioprocess factors at the cellular level through design of synthetic gene networks which function as control circuits to trigger phenotypes for improved bioprocessing.

De novo designed pathways

De novo pathways are conventionally orthogonal to the host cells used to house them. One challenge resulting from this conventional approach can be the need for continual intracellular substrate replenishment. This can be addressed in part by rational, concerted modification of both host cell metabolic pathways and substrate-specificty within the de novo biosynthetic pathway. Firstly host-cell metabolites with potential to act as substrates must be identified. Intracellular abundance of these metabolites can then be boosted by increasing expression of enzymes critical to their biosynthesis or down-regulating enzymes critical to their degradation. These strategies can be used to integrate de novo pathways with their host cells for greater efficiency in whole cell biocatalysts.

Metabolic Modeling 
Phage Engineering
Synthetic organic chemistry approaches to biological problems

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