Dear SynBio Enthusiasts,
In a little more than a month, the first EUSynBioS Symposium, themed Engineering Biology for a Better Future, will follow SynBioBeta at Imperial College London.
The Symposium kicks off with a Visionary keynote address from none other than synthetic biology pioneer Tom Knight (Ginkgo Bioworks)! A former professor at MIT and one of the very first synthetic biology entrepreneurs, Tom will give us an insight into the early days of synthetic biology and talk about what the future holds. Next up we have a session of scientific presentations exclusively by early career synbio researchers, i.e. you! We want the symposium to provide graduate students and early career post-docs a platform where they present their research to peers and senior scientists. I’m sure other members and PIs attending can’t wait to see more cutting edge synthetic biology research, so register (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/eusynbios-symposium-2016-students-engineering-biology-for-a-better-future-registration-20814743458) and submit your abstracts until the 1st of April!
Post-lunch the symposium breaks up into smaller breakout sessions on various topics from biodiversity to design and public engagement. Led by excellent fellow members, these sessions are a great opportunity to express your views and hear others on important issues in synbio today. We then have two inspiring speakers, Luke Alphey (Oxitec) and Emily LeProust (Twist BioSciences) talking about their career paths to setting up world changing synbio companies. A must for all budding synbio entrepreneurs! We hear about efforts to regulate synbio technologies from gene synthesis to gene editing regularly. Michele Garfinkel (former Policy Analyst at the J.Craig Venter Institute, and currently at EMBO) will talk next, guiding us through the world of policy making and talk about how we can make a difference in how synbio is legislated in the future.
And finally, we close the symposium with an Open Discussion on a topic chosen by you: Gene Drives! Gene Drives have gotten a lot of press in the last few months and we have none other than the scientist who coined the term, Austin Burt (Imperial College London), joined by Michele Garfinkel and Luke Alphey, giving us an introduction to what this fascinating technology holds for the future. This session is a forum for you the express your views and get answers from experts about gene drives: How do they work? Will they change the world for the better? Is it ethical to do so? …and many more questions, we’re sure!
If any of these topics (or indeed all!) interest you, or if you want to meet and interact with other synthetic biologists, this symposium is made for you!
We hope to see you all in April!
Your EUSynBioS Steering Committee