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Engineering Biology in Cambridge


To establish the Cambridge University Synthetic Biology Society (CUSBS) to promote the field of synthetic biology amongst the student community and within schools in Cambridge. To continue development of OpenScope and other open technology projects.

The Idea

The Cambridge University Synthetic Biology Society (CUSBS) aims to promote the field of synthetic biology (SynBio) amongst the student community and within schools in Cambridge. Particular focus will be given to its real-world applications and interdisciplinary nature. Expert speakers from different SynBio disciplines will be invited to give talks, and links to external SynBio events and networks will be developed. We aim to work closely with both the SynBio SRI and the Open Plant initiative, and strengthen their direct links with STEM students.

To give members hands-on experience in designing and documenting open-source hardware and software, CUSBS will run student-led projects. The possibility of wet-lab based work for future CUSBS generations will be explored, and suitable workshop and lab infrastructures put in place. Educational events for local schools relating to the themes of synthetic biology, genetic engineering, open-hardware and electronics will be held and teaching resources made openly-available.

The student-led projects set CUSBS apart from many other student societies, and the vast majority of the SynBio Fund grant would be used to cover these costs. As the longevity and success of CUSBS depends on getting students engaged in projects as soon as possible, we envisage beginning enrolment by January 2016. We also intend to apply for sponsorship from science-oriented companies, banks and firms that have supported other societies in the past. We would be keen to coordinate this with the SynBio SRI such that resources could be pooled and funds received would be directed into a central pot.

The Team

Atti English
Lorenzo Venturini
Souradip Mookerjee
Simon Swan
Ginny Rutten
Ocean Haghighi-Daly
Olivia Lala
Anastasia Ershova
William Earley








  • Atti English - Undergraduate student, Pembroke College, Natural Sciences, SynBio Student Society
  • Lorenzo Venturini - Undergraduate student, Queens' College, Engineering, SynBio Student Society
  • Souradip Mookerjee - Undergraduate student, St Catharine's College, Medicine, SynBio Student Society
  • Simon Swan - Undergraduate student, Clare College, Dept of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, SynBio Student Society
  • Ginny Rutten - Undergraduate student, Trinity Hall, SynBio Student Society
  • Ocean Haghighi-Daly - Undergraduate student, Clare College, Natural Sciencesm SynBio Student Society
  • Olivia Lala - Undergraduate student, New Hall, Natural Sciences, SynBio Student Society
  • Anastasia Ershova - Undergraduate student, St John's College, Natural Sciences, SynBio Student Society
  • Will Earley



Project Outputs