Centre for Engineering Biology for the future

A new Centre for Engineering Biology at the University of Edinburgh will build on existing strengths in Synthetic Biology, attracting new interdisciplinary collaborations and driving impact.

The Centre for Engineering Biology has evolved from SynthSys (the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Synthetic and Systems Biology) and the UKRI-funded UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology 

The Centre is a community of more than 50 research groups and 200 researchers from the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science, medicine and social sciences 

It is supported by specialist research facilities such as the Edinburgh Genome Foundry, the world's largest automated DNA assembly platform, and EdinOmics for mass spectrometry, metabolomics and proteomics analysis.

Biology concepts translated into solutions for the real world

The Centre for Engineering Biology will translate synthetic biology concepts into real-world solutions. Researchers break the genome into smaller pieces to better understand how they contribute to the functioning of living systems. They then either reuse or redesign these genetic parts to create new systems with a variety of novel and useful functions.

For example, researchers can engineer bacteria with the ability to convert carbon or metal waste into high-value chemicals, or use gene-editing tools to create cells that are resistant to Lewy bodies and useful in treating Parkinson's disease.

The centre is aligned with the U.K. government's National Engineering Biology Programme (NEBP) and will build on existing expertise and fundamental research to increase impact and strengthen the U.K.'s position as an international leader.

Centre for Engineering Biology

Growth and opportunities

The Centre's research is broad and deep, addressing a wide range of scientific questions with far-reaching implications for society, industry, the economy, and our planet.

Research includes synthetic biology, in which Edinburgh is already strong, but also the engineering of biology for 'green' or sustainable chemistry that will lead to greener methods of producing food, fuels, alternative materials and chemicals, and the engineering of mammalian systems for a range of medical technologies, including cell therapies and tissue engineering.

Related Links

Centre for Engineering Biology

UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology

Edinburgh Genome Foundry