CPSC PhD summer course 2017: SYNBIOSYS

SYNthetic BIOlogy: From pro- to eukaryotic SYStems (SYNBIOSYS), 21–25 August 2017.

Synthetic biology is the engineering of biology: the deliberate (re-)design and construction of novel biological and biologically based parts, devices and systems to perform new functions for useful purposes, drawing on principles elucidated from biology and engineering. In this context, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms such as bacteria (e.g. B. subtilis or E. coli), yeast, microalgae or plants are currently being engineered to address a variety of pressing societal needs, among them the truly sustainable production of high-value compounds like pharmaceuticals, commodity chemicals or even fuels.

While the field initially developed in the model organisms E. coli and yeast, synthetic biology in plants holds great promise for redirecting and (re-)engineering biosynthetic pathways as well as for improving the yield of crop plants, which is one of the great challenges of the 21st century. In this field, the University of Copenhagen is among the leading institutions.

The course will aim at a well-rounded presentation of synthetic biology. Examples of topics are:

  • Commonly used organisms: (cyano-) bacteria (E. coli, Synechocystis), yeast, algae, higher plants (chloroplasts).
  • The parts: Promoters for regulated expression, transcript and protein stabilization and modifications, flip elements for on-off regulation of gene expression.
  • Cloning and genome modification: cloning methods, DNA synthesis, gene stacking, gene replacement, genome editing.
  • Bioreactors: types (closed, open ponds, etc.), designs of growth regimes (continuous versus batch), harvesting methods and product recovery.
  • Ethics in synthetic biology.
  • Safety and regulations.
  • Intellectual property rights (IPR).


  • Stephen P. Long, Gutgsell University Endowed Professor of Plant Biology and of Crop Sciences, Institute of Genomic Biology, University of Illinois, USA.
  • Nicola Patron, Synthetic Biology Group Leader at the Earlham Insitute, Norwich Research Park, UK.
  • Eugenio Butelli, postdoc in the Cathie Martin Lab at the Metabolic Biology Department, John Innes Centre, UK.
  • Nathan Lord, postdoc in Alex Schier Lab at Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University.
  • Lecturers from Copenhagen Plant Science Centre: Fernando Geu-Flores, Mathias Pribil, Stephan Wenkel and Sebastian Marquardt.

ECTS: 4 points.

Time: 21–25 August 2017.

Place: University of Copenhagen
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Thorvaldsensvej 40
1871 Frederiksberg C

Course fee: 1500 DKK.

Registration deadline:  13 August 2017.

For further information please contact:
Lene Rasmussen, centre coordinator at Copenhagen Plant Science Centre: lras@plen.ku.dk

Stephan Wenkel, Young Investigator at Copenhagen Plant Science Centre: wenkel@plen.ku.dk