28 May 2015

Synbio PhD summer course

August 24th-28th, Copenhagen Plant Science Center will host the course 
"Synthetic Biology: From pro- to eukaryotic systems (SYNBIOSYS)" 

Course description:
Synthetic biology is the engineering of biology: the deliberate (re)design and construction of novel biological and biologically based parts, devices and systems to perform new functions for useful purposes, that draws on principles elucidated from biology and engineering.

In this context prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms like bacteria (e.g.Synechocystis or E.coli), yeast, microalgae or plants are interesting since they hold the promise for truly sustainable production of high-value compounds like pharmaceutical, commodity chemicals or even fuels. Traditionally the organisms of choice for synthetic biology have been E. coli and yeast. However, in the future synthetic biology in plant science will have a great potential both for redirecting and engineering of new biosynthetic pathways as well as for improving yield of our crop plants. In this field, the University of Copenhagen is among the leading institutions.
(4 ECTS points)

Download flyer and tentative program.


  • Choice of organisms (chassis): (cyano-) bacteria (Synechocystis, E.coli), yeast, algae, higher plants (chloroplasts).
  • The tool box: Promoters for regulated expression, transcript and protein stabilization and modifications, vectors, neutral integration, DNA synthesis, DNA memory devices, flip elements for on-off gene expression regulation, artificial  protein switches (microProteins)
  • Cloning and high-through-put methodologies: cloning methods, gene stacking, gene replacement strategies.
  • Bioreactors: types (closed, open ponds, etc.), designs of growth regimes (continuous versus batch), harvesting methods and product recovery.
  • Downstream processing:  product extraction, stabilization and quality control
  • Ethics in synthetic biology.
  • Safety and regulations.
  • Intellectual property rights (IPR)

Learning outcomes:
We expect that participation in this course will enable PhD students:

  1. to get an up-to-date understanding of current topics and methods within synthetic biology in photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic organisms,
  2. to get hands-on experimental experience in design and execution of in synthetic biology,
  3. get an overview of organisms (chassis) to use and building an inventory of DNA parts for a broad variety of organisms,
  4. to discuss their projects with experts in the field, and
  5. to obtain a network within the field.


  • Prof. Andreas Weber, Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf.
  • Prof. Neil Hunter, Dept. of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield.
  • Managing Director, CSO Jørgen Hansen, Evolva.
  • Andrew Hitchcock, Dept. of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield.
  • Jesús Fernández-Rodríguez, Dept. of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Associate Prof. Bjørn Hamberger, Section for Plant Biochemistry, UCPH.
  • Prof. Dario Leister, Head of Copenhagen Plant Science Centre, UCPH.
  • Prof. Poul Erik Jensen, Vice-head Copenhagen Plant Science Centre, UCPH.
  • Associate Prof. Mathias Pribil, Young Investigator at Copenhagen Plant Science Centre, UCPH.
  • Associate Prof. Stephan Wenkel, Young Investigator at Copenhagen Plant Science Centre, UCPH.
  • Assistant Prof. Fernando Geu-Flores, Young Investigator at Copenhagen Plant Science Centre, UCPH.
  • Assistant Prof. Sebastian Marquardt, Young Investigator at Copenhagen Plant Science Centre, UCPH.


1500 DKK. Lunch and coffee/tea is included.


Time: 24 August - 28 August 2015

Place: Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg C

Organizer: Copenhagen Plant Science Centre

To register for the course please fill in the registration form and send to Lene Rasmussen lras@plen.ku.dk

Read more about the course in the university course catalogue.