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Engineering Biology in Cambridge


Dr. Keith Pardee (University of Toronto) and Dr. Richard Kelwick (Imperial College) discuss how use of cell extracts could revolutionise the field of biomanufacturing. The talk and dialogue will be followed by a wine reception and delicious finger buffet.

Bioengineering to produce complex control circuits like diagnostic tests, or to modify metabolic pathways for production of everything from drug and vaccines to flavours and fragrances, has typically taken place in cells that are then grown in large, industrial bioreactors. New methods, using cell extracts that can be programmed quickly and flexibly using DNA, promise a paradigm shift in biomanufacturing and paves the way to novel modes of computational biodesign, rapid prototyping and bioproduction. The opportunity to freeze-dry and ship these biofactories opens up many exciting possibilities for small scale distributed manufacturing, for example just-in-time vaccine production, and has profound implications for emerging bioeconomies.

The Synthetic Biology SRI welcomes two researchers to discuss this new area of synthetic biology and its possible futures.

Dr. Keith Pardee (University of Toronto) works at the interface of synthetic biology and human health. His research focuses on the potential of moving synthetic biology outside of the cell and dry shipment of programmable biofactories to enable diagnostics and just in time production of vaccines and biologics.

Dr. Richard Kelwick (Imperial College) researches cell-free systems and biopolymer production, including establishing cell-free methods and toolkits for new bacterial strains, most recently Bacillus subtilis. He also works on bioreporters and biosensors using synthetic gene circuits.

The talk and dialogue will be followed by a wine reception and delicious finger buffet.

For more information, and to register for the seminar (£5), please book here.


This event is organised by the Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiative as part of our Lent Term 2017 SynBio Forum. For more events please visit


Additional event

This event is being run in conjunction with a free day seminar and workshop session taking place on 16th March 2017, entitled: ‘Programmable biology for diagnostics impacting global health and development’, details of which can be found here.

Thursday, 16 March, 2017 - 18:30 to 21:00
Event location: 
Old Divinity School, St Johns College