Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center

Welcome to Synberc

Synberc is a major U.S. research program to make biology safer and easier to engineer. Our research center includes some of synthetic biology's leading academic and industrial scientists and researchers. Synberc strives to build the foundational tools and technologies needed to create innovative solutions to some of the most challenging problems of our time – including health care, energy and the environment. Watch this video to learn more about us: 

Synberc is a multi-university research center established in 2006 with a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help lay the foundation for synthetic biology Our mission is threefold: 1) to develop the foundational understanding and technology needed to increase the speed, scale, and precision with which we design and build biological solutions; 2) to train a new cadre of engineers who will specialize in synthetic biology; and 3) to engage policymakers and the public about the responsible advance of synthetic biology.

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.