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Synthetic Biology underpins advances in the bioeconomy

Biological systems - including the simplest cells - exhibit a broad range of functions to thrive in their environment. Research in the Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology is focused on the possibility of engineering the underlying biochemical processes to solve many of the challenges facing society, from healthcare to sustainable energy. In particular, we model, analyse, design and build biological and biochemical systems in living cells and/or in cell extracts, both exploring and enhancing the engineering potential of biology. 

As part of our research we develop novel methods to accelerate the celebrated Design-Build-Test-Learn synthetic biology cycle. As such research in the Centre for Synthetic Biology highly multi- and interdisciplinary covering computational modelling and machine learning approaches; automated platform development and genetic circuit engineering ; multi-cellular and multi-organismal interactions, including gene drive and genome engineering; metabolic engineering; in vitro/cell-free synthetic biology; engineered phages and directed evolution; and biomimetics, biomaterials and biological engineering.



BibTex format

author = {Borkowski, O and Ceroni, F and Stan, GB and Ellis, T},
doi = {10.1016/j.mib.2016.07.009},
journal = {Current Opinion in Microbiology},
pages = {123--130},
title = {Overloaded and stressed: whole-cell considerations for bacterial synthetic biology.},
url = {},
volume = {33},
year = {2016}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - The predictability and robustness of engineered bacteria depend on the many interactions between synthetic constructs and their host cells. Expression from synthetic constructs is an unnatural load for the host that typically reduces growth, triggers stresses and leads to decrease in performance or failure of engineered cells. Work in systems and synthetic biology has now begun to address this through new tools, methods and strategies that characterise and exploit host-construct interactions in bacteria. Focusing on work in E. coli, we review here a selection of the recent developments in this area, highlighting the emerging issues and describing the new solutions that are now making the synthetic biology community consider the cell just as much as they consider the construct.
AU - Borkowski,O
AU - Ceroni,F
AU - Stan,GB
AU - Ellis,T
DO - 10.1016/j.mib.2016.07.009
EP - 130
PY - 2016///
SN - 1879-0364
SP - 123
TI - Overloaded and stressed: whole-cell considerations for bacterial synthetic biology.
T2 - Current Opinion in Microbiology
UR -
UR -
VL - 33
ER -