About the Synthetic Biology Center @ MIT
The goal of synthetic biology is to make the construction of novel biological systems into a practical and useful engineering discipline. The key is the 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 consequences of synthetic biology will be as great as the development of chemical engineering from alchemy, with enormous and as perhaps unimaginable implications for materials science and medicine. The range of applications for synthetic biology 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.
The Center will be structured around three layered Thrusts:
- Foundations Thrust, focused on creating an infrastructure of synthetic biology tools and capabilities.
- Systems Engineering Thrust, for engineering highly sophisticated biological systems rapidly, efficiently, and reliably.
- Grand Challenge Applications Thrust, for select areas where synthetic biology provides unique opportunities and capabilities.