International Team of Engineering Biology Experts to Spotlight Designer Genomes, Engineering Biology and Societal Implications

In Blog, Synbio by Nancy J KelleyLeave a Comment

Which designer genome will be synthesized from scratch next? What are the societal implications of designer genomes? How can we gain public acceptance of these technologies in light of recent visible events, such as the controversy over germ line editing using CRISPR?

An international group of scientific leaders will convene at the New York Genome Center in New York City for the 4th Annual Sc2.0 and Synthetic Genomes Conference on July 16-17th to discuss topics of major significance for the rapidly advancing field of engineering biology.

Significant scientific advances will be announced from the collaborative international effort of the Sc2.0 Research Consortium, the goal of which is to design and build the 16 synthetic chromosomes of the eukaryotic genome.  International teams from five countries and four continents representing all 16 chromosomes will provide a progress update.  Substantial progress has been made toward the end goal, with several 500,000 megabase chromosomes at or near completion.  In addition to these updates, novel uses of automation equipment to facilitate rapid chromosome analysis will be presented.

Click here to view the full agenda.

Keynote speakers include Vladimir Larionov (National Cancer Institute) on latest advances in the field of ‘bottom up’ human artificial chromosome (HAC) construction and transfer, and Jim Haseloff (University of Cambridge) on the OpenPlant Initiative, which aims to design and build open source technologies for plant synthetic biology.

Additional ‘best and brightest’ from industry will give the industrial perspective on genome engineering and DNA synthesis, including, but not limited to:  Andrew Hessel (Autodesk), Michael Fero (TeselaGen Biotech), and Emily LaProust (Twist Bioscience).

In recent months, a distinguished group of stakeholders, many of whom will attend this meeting, have focused on the emerging needs in engineering biology, including additional research, requisite infrastructure and policies, as well as greater public engagement.  Following a by-invitation only workshop in April (read more), this stakeholder group will soon share a meeting summary as well as interviews from leaders in the field as to why engineering biology is important and what challenges it faces. Please check back at Engineering Biology to view these materials before the July conference.

This meeting is co-sponsored by NSF Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI), NYU Langone Medical Center and Nancy J Kelley + Associates. To register, please visit:


For more information on engineering biology, please read our reports in Industrial Biotechnology:

Engineering Biology to Address Global Problems: Synthetic Biology Markets, Needs, and Applications

The Promise and Challenge of Engineering Biology in the United States



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