CPSC PhD Summer School 2018 – University of Copenhagen

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CPSC PhD Summer School 2018

Synthetic Biology: From Pro- to Eukaryotic Systems (SynBioSys)


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, yeast, microalgae or plants are currently being engineered to address a variety of societal needs, among them the truly sustainable production of high-value compounds (e.g. 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 the enhancement of the yield and nutritional value of crop plants, which is one of the great challenges of the 21st century.

Course contents

The course will aim at a well-rounded presentation of synthetic biology through the discussion of selected topics across the DNA-RNA-protein-metabolite spectrum. Examples of topics are:

  • DNA: Gene circuits and genome editing
  • RNA: The long reach of non-coding RNA
  • Protein: Protein degradation by design
  • Metabolite: Transport engineering and retrobiosynthesis
  • Special theme: Expanding the genetic code

The academic discussions will be complemented by a discussion on intellectual property rights and a visit to a local industry.




1500 DKK (200 Euro)


Invited international speakers:

  • Jason Chin, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK
  • Kristala Prather, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • Holger Puchta, Karlsruhe Insitute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Nathan Lord, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • Nico Dissmeyer, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Halle, Germany

Holger Puchta, Jason Chin, Kristala Prather, Nathan Lord and Nico Dissmeyer.

The international speakers will be joined by a selected group of experts from UCPH, including the four CPSC Young Investigators (Stephan Wenkel, Mathias Pribil, Fernando Geu-Flores and Sebastian Marquardt).

Learning outcome

After taking the course, the PhD students will be able to:

  • Recognize the wide range of research fields currently applying the concepts of synthetic biology
  • Mention a number of specific applications of synthetic biology
  • Recognize the importance of intellectual property rights in the continuous development of the field
  • Start applying the concepts of synthetic biology to their own PhD projects

Course organizers

Fernando Geu-Flores (chair) and Sebastian Marquardt (vice-chair).

CPSC center coordinator Lene Rasmussen lras@plen.ku.dk


Registration for the summer school has closed.