Cool tools for engineering biological systems

1st of July 2013, 2:00 – 6:30 pm, Pavilion Room, Hughes Hall Cambridge.

(c) ACS Synthetic Biology
Courtesy of ACS Synthetic Biology

We invite you to participate in this summer’s NanoForum workshop ‘Cool tools for engineering biological systems’ on 1st July in Cambridge. This half-day workshop is aimed specifically at exploring novel approaches to engineering biological systems at different length scales from nano upwards. The workshop will bring together a growing community of Cambridge researchers interested in applying engineering principles to reprogram living cells.

The scope of the workshop will include topics such as constructing regulatory circuits, synthetic biomolecules for new functions, extracting work from metabolic pathways, bionanomaterials and bionanoscience.

The workshop will incorporate talks by a range of invited speakers, as well as speed networking sessions for the development and exchange of new ideas.


Confirmed Participants:

Prof Jeremy Baumberg – Dept Physics (Chair)

Dr Jim Haseloff – Dept Plant Sciences (Chair)

Dr Jim Ajioka – Dept Pathology (Invited speaker)

Dr Paul Barker – Dept Chemistry (Invited speaker)

Prof Paul Dupree – Dept Biochemistry (Invited speaker)

Dr Chris Forman – Dept Chemistry (Invited speaker)

Dr Philipp Holliger – MRC Laboratory Molecular Biology (Invited speaker)

Dr Ulrich Keyser – Dept Physics (Invited speaker)

Dr James Locke – Sainsbury Laboratory (Invited speaker)

Dr Juan Francisco Abenza Martinez – Dept Genetics, Gurdon Institute

Dr Paolo Bombelli – Dept Biochemistry

Dr Gillian Fraser – Dept Pathology

Dr John Griffin – Dept Chemistry

Mr Alex Guttenplan – Dept Chemistry

Mr Avelino Javer-Godinez – Dept Physics

Dr Tawfique Hasan – Dept Engineering

Dr Silvia Hernandez-Ainsa – Dept Physics

Dr Shery Huang – Dept Engineering

Dr Agnieszka Iwasiewicz-Wabnig – Dept Physics

Dr Laura Itzhaki – Dept Chemistry

Dr Alexandre Kabla – Dept Engineering

Prof Peter Leadlay – Dept Biochemistry

Dr Edwige Moyroud – Dept Plant Sciences

Dr Eileen Nugent – Dept Physics

Mr Albert Perez-Riba – Dept Chemistry

Dr Christine Schmidt – Dept Biochemistry, Gurdon Institute

Dr Ventsislav Valev – Dept Physics

Dr Silvia Vignolini – Dept Physics

Dr Nan Wang – Dept Engineering



Session 1

1.45 – 2:00 Arrival and registration (coffee/tea/biscuits will be available)

2.00 – 2.15 Welcome and Introduction to Session 1 (Prof Jeremy Baumberg, Dept Physics)

2.15 pm ­- 2.55 pm 4×10 minute talks

Dr Philipp Holliger – “Synthetic genetic polymers capable of heredity and evolution”

Dr Ulrich Keyser – “Designer nanopores based on DNA origami”

Dr Chris Forman – “Probe microscopy of protein fibres and the Synthetic Extra-Cellular Matrix exploration machine: HOTBOT.”

Dr James Locke – “Dynamic gene regulation at the single cell level”

2.55 pm – 3.15 pm Panel discussion

3.15 pm ­- 3.30 pm Break with refreshments


Networking event

3.30 pm – 4.30 pm Speed networking event


Session 2

4.30 pm – 4.45 pm Introduction to Session 2 (Dr Jim Haseloff, Dept Plant Sciences)

4.45 pm – 5.15 pm 3x10 minute talks

Dr Jim Ajioka – “DNA Assembly”

Dr Paul Barker – “Protein engineering and evolution of self-assembling function”

Prof Paul Dupree – “Engineering of plant polysaccharide structures”

5.15 pm – 5.45 pm Panel discussion  

5:45 pm  Closing remarks and  Discussion of mini-project proposals 


Portfolio of Participants

Organised by:


Eileen Nugent and Christine Schmidt (NanoForum Fellows)