SOURCE: The Impact Centre

The Impact Centre

June 07, 2016 07:00 ET

Impact Centre's SynBio Cluster Hosts Summer Institute on Synthetic Biology

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - June 07, 2016) - This week a group of students and faculty from across Canada will be joined by international students from Germany, Mexico, and Italy for the third Connaught Summer Institute on Synthetic Biology. Hosted by the Impact Centre's Synthetic Biology Cluster and funded by the University of Toronto's Connaught Fund, the institute will educate attendees on the latest theory as well as modelling and experimental practices in synthetic biology.

The Summer Institute will feature lectures and hands-on sessions led by a group of world-leading scientists in synthetic biology, including:

  • Peter Zandstra -- Professor in the University of Toronto's Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) whose research is focused on the regeneration of functional tissues from stem cells and the development and utilization of tools to modulate the responses of stem cells in vitro and in vivo.
  • Alexander Green -- Assistant Professor at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute who has conducted research in diverse areas ranging from synthetic biology to self-assembly to carbon nanomaterials.
  • Trevor Charles -- Professor in the University of Waterloo's Department of Biology and an expert in bacterial molecular genetics.
  • Keith Pardee -- Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto whose research focuses on practical applications of synthetic biology.

"We are looking forward to hosting our diverse speakers, trainees and company partners over the next week for the final Summer Institute on Synthetic Biology. The 30 trainees of the 2016 Summer Institute will join a community of over 50 others from 10 countries, 18 institutions and across numerous disciplines who have participated in the program over the past two years," said Prof. David McMillen, the lead organizer of the Summer Institute. Prof. McMillen's lab is focused on the systematic design of feedback systems in synthetic biology and on applied approaches to biosensing and low-cost medical interventions in the developing world. "Trainees have spanned the range from undergraduates to faculty and have been about evenly divided between people already working on synthetic biology and those who were eager to get into the field."

New this year will be the inclusion of a Synthetic Biology Innovation Cluster meeting during the Summer Institute. The Cluster Meeting will feature a number of Canadian companies with life science interests, including AbCelex, Mirexus and Designer Microbes, discussing their opportunities and challenges as well as a discussion of the life science intellectual property landscape with Carbon Patents Group.

About the Synbio Cluster:
The Synthetic Biology (SynBio) Cluster is an initiative of the Impact Centre to accelerate the translation of new knowledge in synthetic biology into commercially viable and socially relevant products. The cluster brings together industry partners, researchers, government agencies, and end-users through collaborative projects, knowledge sharing, and networking events to ensure Ontario remains a global leader in this vibrant field.

About the Impact Centre:
The Impact Centre is a research institute at the University of Toronto that strives to bring science to society through industry projects and partnerships, entrepreneurial companies, and unique training programs. We connect exceptional research, talent, innovative companies, and government to create products and services both for existing industry partners and as the basis for startups.

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