Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Synthetic Biology (GRS)
Gordon-Kenan Research Seminar

Expanding Biological Function Through Synthetic Biology


July 29-30, 2017


Stoweflake Conference Center
Stowe, VT


Marc Lajoie & Antje Kruger

Meeting Description

The Gordon Research Seminar on Synthetic Biology is a unique forum for graduate students, post-docs, and other scientists with comparable levels of experience and education to present and exchange new data and cutting edge ideas. This GRS will provide an opportunity for early career researchers to network with other scientists and to explore new state-of-the-art techniques, approaches, and applications.

The focus of this meeting will be on expanding biological function through synthetic biology. Attendees will present posters and participate in three seminar sessions focusing on genome scale, pathway scale, and device scale synthetic biology. A final "challenge" session will include breakout groups brainstorming ideas for the next biotech start-up or for new niches in academic research.

Those applying to the GRS are strongly encouraged to submit an additional application to the Synthetic Biology GRC.

Funding Notice: The GRS and GRC have special funding available to encourage participation from underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. Applicants who would like to give an oral presentation should note whether they would like to be considered for this funding.

Related Meeting

This GRS was held in conjunction with the "Synthetic Biology" Gordon Research Conference (GRC). Refer to the associated GRC program page for more information.


Meeting Program

2:00 pm - 5:00 pmArrival and Check-in
3:30 pm - 3:45 pmIntroductory Comments by GRC Site Staff / Welcome by the GRS Conference Chair
3:45 pm - 4:30 pmGenome Design, Synthesis, and Editing
Genome scale synthetic biology.
Discussion Leaders: Jumai Abioye (University of Glasgow, United Kingdom) and Barbara Jusiak (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
3:45 pm - 3:50 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
3:50 pm - 4:05 pmNeta Agmon (NYU Langone Medical Center, USA)
"Human to Yeast Pathway Transplantation: Cross-Species Dissection of the Adenine De Novo Pathway Regulatory Node"
4:05 pm - 4:10 pmDiscussion
4:10 pm - 4:25 pmYorke Zhang (The Scripps Research Institute, USA)
"A Semi-Synthetic Organism with an Expanded Genetic Code"
4:25 pm - 4:30 pmDiscussion
4:30 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmSynthetic Pathways
Biosynthetic pathways and synthetic signaling pathways logic for controlling cellular behavior.
Discussion Leaders: David Garcia (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA) and Ciaran Kelly (Imperial College London, United Kingdom)
7:30 pm - 7:45 pmBen Thuronyi (Harvard University, USA)
"Directed Evolution of Nucleobase Editors"
7:45 pm - 7:50 pmDiscussion
7:50 pm - 8:05 pmKimberly Insigne (University of California, Los Angeles, USA)
"Using Synthetic Biology to Crack the Splicing Code"
8:05 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:25 pmBrynne Stanton (Ginkgo Bioworks, USA)
"Engineering Enzymes, Pathways, and Microbes Through the Use of an Automated Organism Engineering Foundry"
8:25 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 8:45 pmAriel Langevin (Boston University, USA)
"Benefit of Stress Response Genes Is Dependent on Dynamics of Environment"
8:45 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:05 pmBenjamin Scott (University of Toronto, Canada)
"High-Throughput Studies of Human GPCRs Using Yeast"
9:05 pm - 9:10 pmDiscussion
9:10 pm - 9:25 pmShiva Razavi (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA)
"Bottom-Up Engineering of Chemotaxis in Artificial Cells"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 11:00 amSynthetic Biological Devices
Design, synthesis, and/or evolution of proteins and nucleic acids exhibiting new functions.
Discussion Leaders: Cesar de la Fuente-Nunez (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA) and Tanya Tschirhart (Naval Research Laboratory, USA)
9:00 am - 9:15 amIndra Bervoets (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
"A Sigma Factor Toolbox Enables Orthogonal Gene Expression for Modular Control of Complex Pathways in Escherichia coli"
9:15 am - 9:20 amDiscussion
9:20 am - 9:35 amScott Boyken (University of Washington, USA)
"De Novo Design of Protein Logic via Hydrogen Bond Network-Mediated Specificity: New Tools to Engineer Cellular Signaling"
9:35 am - 9:40 amDiscussion
9:40 am - 9:55 amJames Italia (Boston College, USA)
"Universal Platforms for Genetic Code Expansion in E. coli and Mammalian Cells"
9:55 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:15 amJongmin Kim (Wyss Institute, Harvard University, USA)
"Complex Cellular Logic Computation Using Ribocomputing Devices"
10:15 am - 10:20 amDiscussion
10:20 am - 10:35 amTim Kükenshöner (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland)
"Selective Targeting of Src Family Tyrosine Kinases with Monobodies"
10:35 am - 10:40 amDiscussion
10:40 am - 10:55 amVanessa Restrepo Schild (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)
"Reconstructing Vision from the Bottom Up"
10:55 am - 11:00 amDiscussion
11:00 am - 12:30 pmPoster Session

Coffee will be served in the poster area from 11:00 am - 11:30 am
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 2:30 pmMentorship Component: Innovation Challenge
Mentors from industry and academia will lead breakout groups in brainstorming ideas for the next biotech start-up or for new niches in academic research.
Discussion Leaders: Emily Leproust (Twist Bioscience, USA), Brynne Stanton (Ginkgo Bioworks, USA) and Michael Mee (Flagship Pioneering, USA)
1:30 pm - 2:30 pmBreakout Group Discussions: Innovation Challenge
2:30 pm - 3:00 pmEvaluation Period
Fill in GRS Evaluation Forms
3:00 pmSeminar Concludes
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