Advanced Experimental Synthetic Biology summer 2016

Learn how to create a high-performance cell factory

Monday 06 Jun 16
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Contact

Irina Borodina
Senior Researcher
DTU Biosustain
+4545 25 80 20

Contact

Anne Wärme Lykke
Communications Officer
DTU Biosustain
+4521 12 37 70
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability is launching a new course called ‘Advanced Experimental Synthetic Biology for Cell Factories’. The aim of this course is to teach the students how to design cell factories, that produce high concentrations of bio-based chemicals or bio-pharmaceuticals.

It takes hard work to learn how to design a so-called cell factory – a cell that produces high quantities of a wanted bio-based chemical or pharmaceutical.

Nevertheless, this is what 15 Master students and PhD students will be doing during the next 3 weeks of June at a new course called ‘Advanced Experimental Synthetic Biology for Cell Factories’.

Do-It-Yourself cell factory

The course is organized by the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, DTU Biosustain, at Technical University of  Denmark and offers the students a broad range of skills.

For instance, the students will learn how to select a host organism, depending on the wanted product, how to re-make it into an efficient cell factory, and how to analyse the resulting strains.

"There are many things to consider, when designing a cell factory. And we will try to introduce the students to some of the obstacles and to teach them how to get around them"
Senior Researcher Irina Borodina

“The aim of this course is to teach the students the state-of-the-art techniques for genome editing and computer modelling of industrial cell factories,” says Senior Researcher Irina Borodina from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, DTU Biosustain, who is heading the course.

“But we also want to give them an idea about the limitations and advantages, when you choose one organism over another.”

As an example, yeast cells are excellent at tolerating low pH values and a wide range of inhibitors and, hence, are very suitable for bio-refinery applications. On the other hand, Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells are superior for making glycosylated therapeutic proteins.

“There are many things to consider, when designing a cell factory. And we will try to introduce the students to some of the obstacles and to teach them how to get around them”, Irina Borodina says.

Equipped for the future

The main scope of this Master course is to learn how to use advanced synthetic biology tools in order to create the desired cell factory. For example, the students will be trained in applying the popular molecular ‘scissor’ tool CRISPR-Cas9.

Another important aspect of the course is to learn how to apply computational tools and databases for designing a pathway towards the product of interest and for re-wiring the cellular metabolism, so that the flux towards the product can be maximised.

“We teach them the latest methods in biotechnology, so they are equipped and have the skills to solve a range of biotech problems,” Irina Borodina says.

Facts about Advanced Experimental Synthetic Biology

The maximum number of attendees is 25.

In the morning the students will have theory lectures and computer exercises, and in the afternoons they will do laboratory project work.

The students are going to work with either the bacterium E. coli, baker’s yeast (S. cerevisiae), filamentous bacteria Streptomyces, or Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells.

The course ends with an oral exam and gives the student 5 ECTS points.

Read more about the course here.

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