Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Honorary Senior Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 5355j.heap




Bessemer BuildingSouth Kensington Campus




Synthetic Biology - LIFE96035


 Background & Aims: The advent of the molecular biology age in the 1970s was brought about by the ability to construct recombinant DNA molecules. This has completely revolutionised biology and enabled the development of ‘synthetic biology’, where new gene arrangements can be constructed and evaluated. This has been tremendously successful, leading to a wide range of biotechnological applications. However, the engineering of useful synthetic biological systems is still undertaken on an individual ad hoc basis, which is expensive and inefficient. Synthetic biology as a discipline is now attempting to apply the principles of engineering and develop foundation technologies that make the design and construction of engineered biological systems easier, facilitating future development in biotechnology. This course will explore the challenges, problems and approaches to engineering biological systems.