This conference has been deferred to 2023 due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check back soon for the 2023 schedule.
Synthetic biology uses basic biological building blocks to create fundamentally new cells, organisms, and biological functions not found in nature. This fast-growing discipline has the potential to advance many scientific fields, by providing new approaches and tools to probe living systems, and to revolutionize most major industries through the creation of designer biological technologies. Once focused on small genetic circuits and model bacterial organisms, the scope of synthetic biology has recently expanded to more complex systems and a diverse array of organisms. Fueling these developments are transformative technological advancements in our ability to sequence, edit, and synthesize entire genomes. As a result, synthetic biology applications have now extended into many new spaces, including medicine, through the recent advent of gene and cell therapies.
Thus, the field is now at an exciting and critical juncture. Synthetic biology is poised to offer radical solutions to confront some of our most significant global challenges, including climate change, food shortage, the rise of antibiotic resistance, ageing populations, and cancer. But this will only be possible through critical developments aimed at transforming this discipline into a truly predictive engineering science, including: establishing best practices for non-model organisms and mammalian cells, extending directed evolution techniques to entire pathways and systems, precision and large-scale genetic alterations in cells, orthogonalization, automation/design tools and systems modeling, and engineering principles for multicellularity and cell communities.
This Gordon Research Conference on Synthetic Biology, and accompanying Gordon Research Seminar, will provide a multidisciplinary forum to discuss progress and challenges in transforming biology into a predictive technology capable of addressing global challenges. In the spirit of Gordon Research Conferences, we will deliver an informal setting where scientists at all stages – graduates, post-doctoral fellows, established researchers and industrialists – from across the globe will have the opportunity to engage as a community, foster new collaborations, and discuss some of the key issues and questions, such as: What is required to make synthetic biology a more industrialized and information-rich technology? How can we facilitate more widespread adoption and integration of synthetic biology approaches and tools across the life sciences?