As the first federally funded research center for synthetic biology, our members represent the leading scientists and researchers in the field. Collectively, we strive to advance this emerging field to find innovative solutions to some of the most challenging problems of our time – including health care, fuels and the environment.
In our work, we apply engineering principles to biology to develop tools that improve how fast — and how well — we can go through the design-test-build cycle. These include smart fermentation organisms that can sense their environment and adjust accordingly, and multiplex automated genome engineering, or MAGE, designed for large-scale programming and evolution of cells. We also pursue the discovery of applications that can lead to significant public benefit, such as synthetic artemisinin, an anti-malaria drug that costs less and is more effective than the current plant-derived treatment.