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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 = {McCarty, NS and Ledesma-Amaro, R},
doi = {10.1016/j.tibtech.2018.11.002},
journal = {Trends in Biotechnology},
pages = {181--197},
title = {Synthetic biology tools to engineer microbial communities for biotechnology},
url = {},
volume = {37},
year = {2019}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Microbial consortia have been used in biotechnology processes, including fermentation, waste treatment, and agriculture, for millennia. Today, synthetic biologists are increasingly engineering microbial consortia for diverse applications, including the bioproduction of medicines, biofuels, and biomaterials from inexpensive carbon sources. An improved understanding of natural microbial ecosystems, and the development of new tools to construct synthetic consortia and program their behaviors, will vastly expand the functions that can be performed by communities of interacting microorganisms. Here, we review recent advancements in synthetic biology tools and approaches to engineer synthetic microbial consortia, discuss ongoing and emerging efforts to apply consortia for various biotechnological applications, and suggest future applications.
AU - McCarty,NS
AU - Ledesma-Amaro,R
DO - 10.1016/j.tibtech.2018.11.002
EP - 197
PY - 2019///
SN - 0167-7799
SP - 181
TI - Synthetic biology tools to engineer microbial communities for biotechnology
T2 - Trends in Biotechnology
UR -
UR -
VL - 37
ER -