Innovating research, policy and education in synthetic and systems biology


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.

Opening the door on iron ‘megastores’

December 15th 2015

Iron is an essential cofactor in nearly 10% of all enzymes because of its ability to participate in oxidoreduction reactions. However, this can be detrimental for cells when iron reacts with the products of aerobic metabolism to produce radicals that can damage proteins, lipids and DNA. Cells use a family of proteins called ferritins, which form nanocages to oxidise and safely store iron.

Industrial Partnership Award for metal reclamation

December 15th 2015

Dr Louise Horsfall was a recent recipient of a BBSRC Industrial Partnership Award (IPA) with Diageo – a global leading company in beverage alcohol – to use microbes to reclaim metals from industrial waste.

Team to create a molecular toolbox to boost cyanobacterial pigment production

Cyanobacteria (Creative Commons)

December 7th 2015

SynthSys PIs Dr Alistair McCormick and Br Baojun Wang are joining forces with Scottish SME Scottish Bioenergy to develop a toolkit to boost the production of commercially valuable pigments from cyanobacteria.

Scottish synbio takes off

SynthSys has been keen to promote synthetic biology in Scotland and have been working with Scottish Enteprise’s Life and Chemical Sciences team and the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre to do this.

Feel good hit of the summer: EdiGEM Giant Jamboree success

A summer spent toiling at the lab bench and interviewing drug policy experts has paid off for our iGEM team with their success at the iGEM Giant Jamboree in Boston this September.