Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center

Welcome to Synberc

Synberc is a major U.S. research program to make biology safer and easier to engineer. Our research center includes some of synthetic biology's leading academic and industrial scientists and researchers. Synberc strives to build the foundational tools and technologies needed to create innovative solutions to some of the most challenging problems of our time – including health care, fuels and the environment. Watch this video to learn more about us: 

Synberc is a multi-university research center established in 2006 with a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help lay the foundation for synthetic biology. Its mission is 1) to develop the basic knowledge and tools so we can design and assemble biological systems to accomplish many complex tasks; 2) to train a new cadre of researchers who will specialize in synthetic biology; and 3) to develop and share best practices for the safe and ethical development of the field. 

In our work, we apply engineering principles to biology to develop tools that improve how fast — and how well — we can go through the design-test-build cycle. These include smart fermentation organisms that can sense their environment and adjust accordingly, and multiplex automated genome engineering, or MAGE, designed for large-scale programming and evolution of cells. We also pursue the discovery of applications that can lead to significant public benefit, such as synthetic artemisinin, an anti-malaria drug that costs less and is more effective than the current plant-derived treatment.