Synthetic Biology – University of Copenhagen

Synthetic Biology is the engineering of biology based on the ‘share your parts’ principle and bottom up approaches: the deliberate (re)design and construction of novel biological and biologically based systems to perform new functions for useful purposes, which draws on principles elucidated from biology and engineering. Novel biological systems are constructed to meet the demand of society using new combinations of the modules found in nature. Light driven production of high value medicinal compounds is a key target for society. 

Synthetic biology exists in the intersection between biological sciences, chemistry, physics and information technology. The combined knowledge within these fields is directed at understanding in detail how biological systems are organized and thereby gaining the insight to build standardized biological parts. This will enable the combining of these parts to construct novel systems with beneficial functions.

The aim of the research area is to form the scientific basis for developing the sustainable production of biochemicals, energy, personalized medicine, biomaterials, plants of the future, functional foods and molecular bioelectronics. The development of sustainable production of energy, biochemicals, and better medicine are the main focus of synthetic biology at the University of Copenhagen. The university is one of the first in Europe to target this emerging research area which brings together internationally recognized research groups, each representing key areas in synthetic biology: chemistry and nanotechnology, molecular plant biology, molecular neurobiology and biophysics.

The Center for Synthetic Biology coordinates cross disciplinary research in synthetic biology within 4 faculties and gathers researchers and students from 6 departments at University of Copenhagen (Nano-science, law, plant biology, neurobiology, philosophy and ethics, biophysics, media, cognition and communication). The center forms an overarching structure of several research initiatives, which include various research groups within the center.

Departments involved in the collaboration: