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Synthetic Biology in Cambridge

 

Creative educational approaches will be required to inspire the next generation of synthetic biologists and develop future leaders in the field.

ERASynBio Strategic Vision, 2014

Synthetic Biology is an interdisciplinary field and training for students as well as new and existing researchers is vital to deliver on its potential. The UK government have invested over £2 million in training for synthetic biology since 2013 and training was a major focus on the UK roadmap and ERASynBio strategic visions.

The IRC will help link those working or interested in synthetic biology at the University of Cambridge to a range of opportunities for learning, training and gaining practical research experience in the field.

If you want more information on opportunities listed here, have a suggestion for training that should be organised within the University or would like to offer training/mentoring to other members of the IRC, please contact the IRC Coordinator on coordinator@synbio.cam.ac.uk.

 

Undergraduate Level

Plant Sciences Part II L1 module: Synthetic Biology and Plant Biotechnology 

Three Lectures for Part II Plant Sciences undergraduates examining the history of plant biotechnology through to recent advances in Synthetic Biology, Self-organisation and reprogramming of multicellular systems.

Engineering Tripos Part IIA, 3G1: Introduction to Molecular Bioengineerin

An intensive course of 16 lectures and a practical lab providing a basic grounding in key aspects of molecular bioscience with an emphasis on bioscience engineering.

Part III Course in Systems Biology: Synthetic and Executable Biology (SEB)

A course of lectures and 5 computer-based practical sessions to introduce students to the de novo design of biological systems using the techniques of Synthetic Biology and computational simulation.

Cambridge University Synthetic Biology Society (SynBioSoc)

A new society, founded by 2015 Cambridge-JIC iGEM teamaiming to spread the word of Synthetic Biology by running a diverse programme of events throughout term time including talks, outreach and projects. 

Biomaker Challenge 

A a five-month programme challenging interdisciplinary teams to (i) build low-cost sensors and instruments for biology or (ii) develop some biological resource or outreach project. Over three years, the Biomaker Challenge has funded over 60 open source projects and involved over 200 participants from a wide range of backgrounds. 

 

Graduate Level

Several labs in Cambridge accept students on Synthetic Biology related PhD programmes but no formal teaching courses are currently in place. Opportunities are advertised via the University and will be uploaded to this site as they become available. Many lab heads can be contacted via this site. The following doctoral training centres provide skills training relevant to synthetic biology:

 

Post-Graduate/Researcher Level

There are no formal training courses for researchers but opportunities will be advertised via this site as they arise and suggestions of offers of training and mentoring for research colleagues are welcomed. Please contact the SRI Coordinator on synbio@hermes.cam.ac.uk for more information.

Researchers with OpenPlant in Cambridge (ROC)

ROC work with plant systems with a SynBio mindset. The group meets once a month to share ideas, resources and tools. 

Biomakespace

Biomakespace is Cambridge’s first community based, open access biology and prototyping space, on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. They aim to build a community of scientists, engineers, technologists, entrepreneurs, teachers, artists and members of the public interested in engineering with biology. Biomakespace offers a range of training courses and informal training/mentoring.

SynBio Centre for Doctoral Training

The EPSRC & BBSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Synthetic Biology is a doctoral training program that combines the fundamental understanding of biological systems with the principles of engineering, so as to create the next generation of industrial and academic leaders in the nascent field of Synthetic Biology. The 4-year training programme has been created in partnership with industrial, academic and public facing organizations and includes responsible innovation, transferrable skills and outreach activities. SynBioCDT will endow you with the skills necessary to fulfil the potential of Synthetic Biology and to have a strong impact in this area. 

Training News and Announcements

A new project launched by the University of Cambridge aims to connect young people, researchers, and creatives to address the challenges and opportunities of developing a sustainable future.

Applications are now open for the 2019 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Summer Course in Synthetic 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.

Are you a scientist or engineer with little or no media experience? Are you working in a field which can provoke media controversy? Are you interested in how the media works – and how to help journalists report your subject better? Come to our next Introduction to the News Media event. It’s a hugely informative, entertaining and popular afternoon. And it’s FREE.

Rhizome Association are pleased to announce the opportunity to join the Science Survival Kit Summer Semester (SSKSS), a 12 week long summer program taking place at the Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences, Split, Croatia.

The eLife Innovation Sprint is a two-day challenge on 10-11 May 2018 for developers, designers, technologists and researchers to collaboratively prototype innovations that bring cutting-edge technology to open research.

We are now accepting applications for the 2018 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Summer Course in Synthetic Biology. We encourage you, your colleagues, and/or your trainees to apply if…

PULSE is a new, three day leadership and entrepreneurship training programme developed by the BIA and the Francis Crick Institute. The programme is for aspiring entrepreneurs and new CEOs looking for advanced practical advice, support and feedback from leading entrepreneurs, renowned professionals and CEOs.

The Essex Synthetic Biology School (ESBS) is an intensive 5-day summer course targeting students and early career scientists interested in learning cutting edge experimental and computational methods to design and build biological systems directly from world-renowned experts, working with bacterial, yeast, plant and mammalian systems, in fields such as cancer and healthcare research, as well as industrial, agricultural and environmental synthetic biology.

The Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School (SSBSS) is a full-immersion five-day residential summer school on cutting-edge advances in systems and synthetic biology with lectures delivered by world-renowned experts. The 2018 Summer School will take place July 25-29, 2018 at Certosa di Pontignano in Tuscany, Italy.

The Essex Synthetic Biology School (ESBS) is an intensive 5-day summer course targeting students and early career scientists interested in learning cutting edge experimental and computational methods to design and build biological systems directly from world-renowned experts, working with bacterial, yeast, plant and mammalian systems, in fields such as cancer and healthcare research, as well as industrial, agricultural and environmental synthetic biology.

Are you a postdoc looking to start a company? Perhaps you’ve got an idea, but you need help getting it down on paper or presenting to investors.

Dr James Ajioka and Dr Orr Yarkoni are offering a Development i-Teams project for Easter Term 2017, exploring the potential of their new way of dyeing fabric using engineered microorganisms in India.

The Office of Scholarly Communication is offering a series of courses in open research training for PhD and graduate students at the University of Cambridge.

SynbiCITE is running a 4-Day MBA 'More Business Acumen: Building a Synthetic Biology-rich Biotech Business from Scratch' again this December.

The Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School (SSBSS) is a full-immersion five-day residential summer school at the Robinson College - University of Cambridge - UK on cutting-edge advances in systems and synthetic biology with lectures delivered by world-renowned experts.

The University Research Ethics Committee (UREC)

The second year students of the EPSRC & BBSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Synthetic Biology are organizing a "Summer School - Workshop" on the 27-29 June 2016 inOxford. On the 27th there will be talks from Industry and a workshop on commercializing research, while on the morning of the...

Open Science Framework (OSF) is an open source platform to support researchers during the entire research lifecycle: from the start of the project, through data creation, editing and sharing with collaborators and concluding with data publication.

One day Arduino workshop 8 June 2016 Department of Engineering For beginners, intermediate, advanced users of Arduinos - Part of Open Technology Week 2016

Start-up skills workshop for postdocs: pitching and business plan writing to make your new company stand out, with Dr Darrin Disley

With support from the SynBio Fund, CUTEC is hosting the UK’s first ever bio-focused “hackathon” in the University of Cambridge. Interdisciplinary teams will take on some of the greatest challenges facing biology.

This summer Microsoft Research offer a 12 week long internship to a Graduate/PhD student that is interested in taking part in an interdisciplinary research project that will focus on plant communication and signaling in plants. [Deadline March 2016]

In conjunction with the Annual Sc2.0 and Synthetic Genomes Conference, the University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London and the BBSRC are running an exciting 5-day residential summer school in Edinburgh teaching the practical lab techniques and theory behind genome synthesis, CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering and advanced synthetic biology.

Two training workshops are being held on 2nd and 3rd March at the John Innes Centre, Norwich looking at Responsible Research and Innovation: Ethics, openness and outreach in Synthetic Biology, followed by media training from BBSRC. OpenPlant-funded applicants are prioritised but a small number of places may be available to other early career researchers at the University of Cambridge/JIC/TSL.

This course at Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory 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. The Course centers around an immersive laboratory experience. Application Deadline: April 15, 2016

Are you interested collaborative problem-solving and for a more sustainable future? Use your skills and passion to work with people of various backgrounds to solve agri-tech problems and create impact.

Cambridge-JIC iGEM Team seeks members to compete in an international undergraduate synthetic biology competition in Summer 2016.

Undergraduates are invited to apply to join the Cambridge-JIC iGEM Team in Summer 2016 to engineer plants using synthetic biology before joining the iGEM Giant Jamboree in Boston