Innovating research, policy and education in synthetic and systems biology


Edinburgh Genome Foundry installation begins

In early February a newly refurbished laboratory space on Swann Level 2 was handed over to the Edinburgh Genome Foundry team. This purpose built facility is now ready to be the new home for the Edinburgh Genome Foundry, an automated platform for construction of large scale DNA.

Next steps for synthetic biology – scale up and automation

Several members of SynthSys headed to a cold and sunny Manchester on 24th and 25th of February to participate in two workshops run by the Knowledge Transfer Networks on ‘Effective Scale-Up’ and ‘Automation and Robotics.’  

SynBioBlog: You can’t beat the benefits of a face-to-face

Dr Hannah Florance, Metabolomics Specialist, Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology

The value of seeing the ‘whites of the eyes’ of a potential collaborator really hit home over the past week when I went to the US with the Rosser Lab to visit three synthetic biology labs.

Biology by design – the road ahead for UK synbio

On February 24th George Freeman MP, Minister for Life Sciences, launched the long anticipated UK Synthetic Biology Strategic Plan 2016 and so set the stage for the next chapter in the growth and investment in this fast growing sector.

The Information, Probability and Inference in Systems Biology Conference

Synthsys Associate Director, Professor Peter Swain, is co-organising The Information, Probability and Inference in Systems Biology Conference (IPISB2016) which will be held from May 18-20, 2016 at IST Austria in Klosterneuburg, Austria.

Full information and registration at

SynthSys exhibits at the annual Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre Conference

SynthSys showcased its research activities and industry partnerships to over 400 delegates attending the annual conference of the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) in Glasgow on January 28th and 29th.

Prestigious appointment for Mammalian Synbio Centre Director

SSAC logo

Professor Susan Rosser, Director of the UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology, has been appointed a member of the Scottish Science Advisory Council (SSAC).

Welcome to the new SynthSys Director

Professor Alistair Elfick of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering has become the new Director of SynthSys.

Alistair holds the Chair of Synthetic Biological Engineering and has played a key role in raising the profile of synthetic biology at Edinburgh. He has been an instructor on the Edinburgh iGEM team for several years, was Director of one of the original BBSRC Networks in Synthetic Biology and is also Depute Director of the newly established UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology.

SynthSys PIs recognised for their work on Impact

Dr Louise Horsfall and Dr Sander Granneman have been recognised by colleagues in the School of Biological Sciences for their contributions to impact. The annual Recognising Excellence awards were presented by Head of School Professor David Gray at a special reception on Monday 14 December 2015. Louise won the  award for public engagment and Sander for knowledge exchange and commercialisation

Building towards scalability and complexity in synthetic gene circuits

December 16th 2015

Our ability to build large and complex gene circuits is hampered by a paucity of well-characterised orthogonal components. Dr Baojun Wang has been awarded a BBSRC grant to help address this challenge by developing an expanded library of versatile orthogonal genetic building blocks.