Directors

Richard Kitney Richard Kitney
Department of Bioengineering

Paul FreemontPaul Freemont
Department of Medicine


Research PIs

Nik Rose
Nikolas Rose

Professor Rose is Head of the Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine at Kings College London and Associate Director of CSynBI.

He has published widely on the social and political history of the human sciences, on the genealogy of subjectivity, on the history of empirical thought in sociology, on law and criminology, and on changing rationalities and techniques of political power. For the last decade, his work has focussed on the conceptual, social and political dimensions of the contemporary life sciences and biomedicine.

 

Tom Ellis Tom Ellis
I am a lecturer in Synthetic Biology with past research at Boston University and Cambridge University. My group does experimental research in synthetic biology, focusing on genome engineering, genome design, the function of DNA sequence, standards in biological engineering, extreme life and antibiotic synthesis. My home department is the Department of Bioengineering in the Faculty of Engineering.

Ellis Lab Website

 

Guy-Bart Stan Guy-Bart Stan
I am a Reader in Engineering Design for Synthetic Biology specialising in the development and use of Systems and Control Engineering approaches to solve important problems in Systems and Synthetic Biology. My research at CSynBI focuses on the modelling, design, and control of synthetic biology systems. This involves addressing fundamental questions pertaining to interconnection, modularity, circuit-chassis interaction, cell-cell interaction, optimal robust control, etc., and is tackled using, amongst others, concepts borrowed from systems and control theory and the development of appropriate Computer Aided Design tools. In particular, I wish my group to advance the development of foundational tools for the efficient modelling, design, and control of synthetic biology systems. My home department is the Department of Bioengineering in the Faculty of Engineering.

Guy-Bart Stan's research website

 

John Heap John Heap
My research group is interested in the design and construction of synthetic biological systems which process matter, energy and information in useful ways not observed in nature. Our research involves both the development of foundational biological technologies and their use for applications, mainly in chemical manufacture and in health. An important aspect of this research is developing reliable approaches to implement synthetic biological systems using diverse, industrially-relevant organisms. Engineering metabolism is often important for our applications, and a particular interest is how non-natural metabolic constraints can be used to re-direct fluxes and achieve high yields.

 

Karen Polizzi Karen Polizzi
The main theme of my laboratory is to detect and correct "bad behaviour" in cells using a combination of in vivo biosensors and synthetic biology. We focus on applications in bioprocessing, such as protein secretion and glycosylation, as well as malfunctions in these same processes which lead to neurodegeneration and loss of tissue upon ageing.

 

Geoff Baldwin Geoff Baldwin
My work in synthetic biology is focused on the development of parts. Nature has provided us with a rich source of biological parts from which we can design and build new biological systems. However, these parts have evolved to fit particular ecological niches that do not necessarily correspond with the newly designed context. As our designs for biological systems become more complex, we require specialised parts that fit exactly with the specifications of the system.

The development of custom designed parts therefore poses a significant challenge to synthetic biology. The directed evolution of protein sequences has been used to modify protein and enzyme specificity and activity, but is limited by our ability to explore the enormity of sequence space. We are developing a synthetic biology approach that will target mutation of specific genes in vivo, which will harness the power of bacterial doubling time and population size.

We will combine this with in vivo genetic switches that will govern the mutation phenotype and prevent further evolution once an end-point activity is reached. This work encompasses many key themes of synthetic biology, including DNA assembly, genetic network design, part characterisation, and will also link with other projects in CSynBI on pathway engineering.

I am a Junior Research Fellow in the Department of Medicine of Imperial College. Previously I worked at the Synthetic Biology Center at MIT and in the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM) in Naples.

My main research focus is the development of innovative biomedical application of synthetic biology, by building biosensor and “smart” therapeutic networks with application in cancer and infectious diseases such as HIV.

I am also interested in design of synthetic circuits to unravel mechanism underlying biological functions in mammalian cells, integrating biological and mathematical modeling approaches.


Claire Marris

Claire Marris I am a Senior Research Fellow at SSHM, KCL. I am a sociologist of science and my research focuses on participatory forms of governance; on the dynamics of public controversies; and on the use of scientific expertise for policy.

 

Filippa Lentzos

Filippa Lentoz I am a Senior Research Fellow in SSHM, KCL. My research interests are focused on biosecurity and synthetic biology, and the range of social, ethical, political, legal, economic, and geographical issues associated wi th these two key emerging research themes in the field of biomedicine and society. I am es pecially interested in the social shaping of risks and threats, and in the social organisation and deployment of evidence, facts an d knowledge, and have published widely on this.