About the Synthetic Biology Center

The goal of synthetic biology is to make the construction of novel biological systems into a practical and useful engineering discipline.

The key to that is development of an engineering methodology based on standardized and well-characterized interchangeable parts. Biological systems can be a basis for practical programmable materials, providing an engineering substrate with exquisite control over and response to the chemical world.

The range of potential applications is vast, encompassing but not limited to: diagnostics, therapeutics, sensors, environmental remediation, energy production, and a host of other biomolecular and chemical manufacturing outputs. Synthetic biology can also help us gain valuable insight into fundamental biological principles and improve our quantitative understanding of the living world.

The mission of the Synthetic Biology Center at MIT is to develop and advance the engineering discipline for this emerging field. Read more > 

Recent Publications

Bikard D, Jiang W, Samai P, Hochschild A, Zhang F, Marraffini LA. Programmable repression and activation of bacterial gene expression using an engineered CRISPR-Cas system. Nucleic Acids Res. 2013;41(15):7429-37.
Gora KG, Cantin A, Wohlever M, Joshi KK, Perchuk BS, Chien P, et al. Regulated proteolysis of a transcription factor complex is critical to cell cycle progression in Caulobacter crescentus. Mol Microbiol. 2013;87(6):1277-89.
Li W, Lee S, Ma M, Kim S, Guye P, Pancoast JR, et al. Microbead-based biomimetic synthetic neighbors enhance survival and function of rat pancreatic β-cells. Sci Rep. 2013;3:2863.
Jayanthi S, Nilgiriwala K, Del Vecchio D. Retroactivity controls the temporal dynamics of gene transcription. ACS Synth Biol. 2013;2(8):431-41.