skip to content

Engineering Biology in Cambridge

Cafe Synthetique logo of a red white and blue coaster with the text "Cafe Synthetique | 1st Monday of the Month | 6-8pm | Panton Arms | informal talks | discussion & networking | pub snacks & drinks"

Café Synthetique is the monthly meet-up for the Cambridge synthetic and engineering biology community. Join us on the first Monday of each month for informal talks, discussion, drinks and snacks and to catch up with engineering biology news and projects from across the Cambridge community.

We meet monthly at the Panton Arms to share the latest developments in engineering biology, synthetic biology and related approaches and techniques. From students, to local biotech companies, and from bioart to next generation crops, Cafe Synthetique aims to bring together the best engineering biology tools, techniques, projects and ideas from across Cambridge in an informal environment. We are an open and welcoming group promoting interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration, and the sharing of ideas and exciting new technologies. Cafe Synthetique is a space for members of the Cambridge engineering biology, synthetic biology, biotechnology and bioinnovation communities to meet, learn and discuss. Meetings are open to everyone, from students and academics to those working in industry and policy, social scientists and DIY biologists. We are always open to speaker suggestions so if you would like to nominate yourself or another person, please get in touch via















We are back on Monday 15 January, 6pm, Panton Arms 

“Getting Hands-on with Engineering Biology: Team Projects for Real-World Applications”

Kavi Shah and the iGEM Team  Cambridge 2023: BMax, An engineered living biofilm to coat surfaces

The iGEM (international Genetically Engineered Machine) competition is a prestigious synthetic biology competition with hundreds of teams competing from different universities worldwide. The Cambridge iGEM Competition Team this year worked on engineering a protective biofilm (a matrix of polysaccharides, proteins, and DNA produced by the bacteria within it) that can prevent surface colonisation by pathogenic bacteria which usually form pathogen biofilms on surfaces. The project was designed towards a use case in animal farms, where bacterial infections cause loss of productivity and animal suffering. In combating such problems, farmers typically resort to frequent use of antimicrobial drugs, contributing to the growing crisis of antimicrobial resistance. The team will talk about their biofilm-based solution to this problem. Their aim is for this protective biofilm to be applied to farm surfaces after cleaning and disinfection, creating long-lasting protection against pathogens, thereby reducing the risk of infections and the reliance on antimicrobials for disease prevention. Following the talk by the team, a brief introduction will be given to Cambridge University Synthetic Biology Society, which organises the iGEM competition team at Cambridge every year. 

Lara Allen, iTeams Development i-Teams – i-Teams (

Cambridge based i-Team investigating sustainable innovation in the developing world.

Sign up here on MEETUP.


Future Dates:

  • Monday 15 January 2024 with Kavi Shah, iGem Team
  • Monday 5 February "Cutting-Edge Cell Culture" with Salavat Magazov, CCA BIO and David Fernandez-Antoran, CRUK-RadNet Group Leader, Gurdon Inst.
  • Monday 4 March with Betty Chung
  • Monday 8 April with Graham Christie

It will be fantastic to see the members of our community coming together again with free food available!  Drinks available to buy at the bar. We look forward to seeing you at the Panton Arms, Cambridge. Places are limited. Please RSVP HERE


Get Involved!

If you would like to give a short presentation at an upcoming Cafe Sythetique event in 2024, or if you have suggestions for interesting speakers or topics, please do not hesitate to get in touch at

Cambridge Synthetic and Engineering Biology Meetup

Café Synthetique - Easter Term 2015

View all upcoming events from the Engineering Biology IRC

Past Events

You can find an archive of our past Cafe Synthetique events here.