JNU to host international bio-engineering meeting in March

A new series of conference on synthetic biology is being organized at the convention centre of Jawahar Lal Nehru University on March 26-28, 2017


New Delhi: The Jawahar Lal Nehru University is all set to host a new series of synthetic biology meeting focused on rational design and construction of biological components towards useful bio fab applications. The event will cover topics such as the genome editing, synthetic life, cell factory, logic gates, responsible innovation, industry, poster presentation. It will also provide an opportunity for job seekers.

To be held on the campus of JNU, this event is being organized by the team led by Dr Pawan Dhar, Head, Synthetic Biology Group, School of Biotechnology and Dr Shailja Singh, Head, Signaling Biology Group, Special Centre for Molecular Medicine. The event is expected to create a buzz on the synthetic biology opportunities in India and globe.

While the registration has started in 2016, it is open upto February 15, 2017. The last date for abstract submission is February 15th though it is not necessary for the participation in the conference. While the late registration is allowed till March 25th, the individuals who are much interested but couldn’t register could also do so by on spot registration at the venue itself on March 26th. The organizers can be contacted at ibem2017@gmail.com.

The students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty members who are looking for conceptual clarity and technological advancements in the field can attend it. The organizers have also called for attention from industry to showcase the latest advances besides highlight challenges. The flyer of the conference can be accessed here. More details on the conference website here.

There will be introductory talks on building standards and inventory of biological components, developing genome engineering tools, technologies and applications, for the neonates. For the advanced level interaction, talks will focus on genome editing applications, logic gates, cell factory, synthetic life and so on. There will be also open house discussions on the core concepts, applications, future initiatives, training and employment opportunities, for the best benefit of the emerging synthetic biology in India.

The emerging Indian synthetic biology community is beginning to make its impact. In future, more successes will appear at the foundation and application levels. The need of the hour is to organize generate ideas and opportunities through outreach programs to develop novel ideas and applications.

DNA RNABrief timeline of Synthetic Biology events organized in India so far:

2010: Biodesign India – The 1st Synthetic Biology conference in India, University of Kerala
2012: One day Synthetic Biology symposium held at JNU
2014: Indo US conference in Synthetic and Systems Biology, JNU (DBT & NSF Funded)

Synthetic biology is a new scientific discipline that deals with engineering biomolecular systems, from design to manufacturing. It is a rational and ground-up construction of biomolecular parts, modules and networks. The construction may be in the native or a non-native setting. The former refers to the redesign of existing pathways and the latter refers to the science of relocating pathways across organisms.  Though the term was proposed 1970s, it was formally reintroduced in June 2004 at MIT where the first conference of synthetic biology was held. The broad goal of the community is

The broad goal of the community is computer aided design of biological systems based on standards, rules of composition leading to useful applications.

What makes Synthetic biology different? 

  • The design and manufacture of organisms from parts inventory is new to the biological community.
  • Genome-wide data sheet of every part, device and circuit does not exist.
  • The rules of composing an organism are unknown.
  • We are nowhere close to the standard engineering process of taking a computer model to the manufacturing of an organism.