Image courtesy of Cell Signaling Technology (cellsignal.com)

About the First International Mammalian Synthetic Biology Workshop

Venue: Stata Center, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Date: May 11 - 12, 2013

Recognizing the fast emergence and potential significance of this field, the aim of this workshop was to bring together practitioners of mammalian synthetic biology together with experts from other relevant fields. The general goals of the workshop were to nucleate the nascent mammalian synthetic biology community, reach out to experts from other fields that can benefit from and contribute to this field, and define the important challenges and future directions.

The workshop format provided a forum for exposition of the latest developments in the field and discussions of how experts from other fields can benefit from and contribute to mammalian synthetic biology.

Breakout session reports - click to download
Download the breakout session reports

Perhaps more importantly, the workshop included breakout sessions to identify the main challenges and opportunities. Findings from the breakout sessions may be downloaded here. They are being assembled into a written report that will be distributed to all workshop participants and to relevant government and funding agencies.

The agenda on Saturday included several 30 minute talks about mammalian synthetic biology tools and capabilities, talks about industrial and clinical applications, and two sets of breakout sessions.

The first set of breakout sessions focused on the technology, including

  • large scale DNA assembly and integration
  • transcriptional regulation
  • sensors and actuators
  • non-transcriptional regulation.

The second set of breakout sessions focused on potential disease and scientific inquiry applications, including

  • cancer
  • stem cell and tissue engineering
  • vaccination and infectious disease
  • diabetes and metabolic diseases
  • drug screening.

The emphasis in these sessions was on understanding and evaluating the transformative opportunities for synthetic biology in these areas. Sunday morning included two talks and then reports from all breakout sessions.

Organizing Committee:
  • Ron Weiss, MIT, Chair
  • Pamela A. Silver, Harvard, Co-Chair
  • Noubar Afeyan, Flagship Ventures
  • Jon Chesnut, Life Technologies
  • George M. Church, Harvard
  • James J. Collins, BU
  • Leonard Katz, Synberc
  • Christina D. Smolke, Stanford
Organizing Sponsors

Broad Institute

Flagship Ventures
Benchling - A Swiss army knife for your sequences

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