Innovating research, policy and education in synthetic and systems biology

SynthSys and Tianjin University to collaborate in synthetic and systems biology

June 18th, 2014  The University of Edinburgh and Tianjin University today signed a memorandum of understanding outlining their intention to establish research and teaching collaborations in mutually interesting areas of synthetic and systems biology. 


Faculty members in the National Key Laboratory for Systems Bioengineering (Ministry of Education, China) and the Centre for Synthetic Biology (both located in the University of Tianjin) will actively participate in the academic exchanges and research collaborations with the members of the Centre for Synthetic and Systems Biology (SynthSys), School of Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. They are keen to identify opportunities for exchanges of personnel and joint research and development with an emphasis on systems and synthetic biology, engineering microorganisms and microbial consortia, genomics engineering, in vitro synthetic biology, and their applications in the production of chemicals, nutraceuticals and drugs, biomedicine, energy and the environment.

In addition, the Institutes are discussing the possibility of setting up a joint synthetic biology program that could offer education and training at different levels, from Bachelor to PhD degree, which would be taught by both faculties in Tianjin and Edinburgh.

The two universities are already actively engaged in collaborative research: Dr Patrick Cai, founding co-director of Edinburgh Genome Foundry and a Principal Investigator in SynthSys and  Professor Yingjin Yuan, Director of the Key Laboratory of Systems Bioengineering, Ministry of Education and Vice President for Research at Tianjin University work together on the international synthetic yeast genome project (Sc2.0).

Professor Peter Swain, Director of SynthSys says, “Tianjin University has one of the strongest biochemical engineering programs in China, which complements well Edinburgh’s world leading expertise in systems and synthetic biology. We look forward very much to deepening our collaboration with Tianjin University.”