Applied Synthetic Biology

Module Title - Applied Synthetic Biology 
Number of credits – 10

Module description

This module covers the application of systems and synthetic biology for the design and development of microbial systems for the production of varied molecules such as biofuels, platform and fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals and neutraceuticals from varied biological feedstocks.

The fundamentals of synthetic biology and systems biology are introduced and their relevance to the biochemical and formulation engineer considered. Through the use of examples from the recent research literature, the development of organisms that are capable of producing varied molecular products from a range of feedstocks is explored.

Students work in teams to design organisms that are able to generate specified molecules from specified feedstocks. The plans are presented in group oral presentations, and feedback is given that students are able to refine their approaches and develop their written reports.

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Describe how systems biology can be used to characterise organisms and how this information can be used to engineer organisms;
  • Describe how synthetic biology approaches can be used to engineer organisms to perform specific functions and generate specific products from specific feedstocks;
  • Evaluate the relative merits of alternative approaches for engineering organisms with novel functionality; and
  • Demonstrate an awareness that the engineer must be able to effectively communicate and work with scientists from other disciplines.