Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center

About Us

Synberc's goals are:

  1. to develop the foundational understanding and technologies to build biological components and assemble them into integrated systems to accomplish many particular tasks;
  2. to train a new cadre of engineers who will specialize in synthetic biology; and
  3. to engage the public about the benefits and risks of synthetic biology.

In essence, we want to make biology easier to engineer.

Just as electrical engineers have made it possible for us to assemble computers from standardized parts (hard drives, memory cards, motherboards, and so on), we envision a day when biological engineers will be able to assemble biological components such as sensors, signals, drug pathways, and logic gates easily and reliably in order to make sophisticated bio-based systems with no current solutions.

Synberc was founded in 2006 with support from the National Science Foundation. The core university partners are UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, Stanford, Harvard and MIT. These universities are located in the two “biotech hubs” of Boston, MA and the San Francisco Bay Area, CA. Synberc PIs are the leaders of synthetic biology, and their labs attract the best and the brightest students in the field. Synberc also has a large number of industry partners; these relationships facilitate the technology transfer that will lead to the commercial use of Synberc’s cutting-edge research results. 

Synberc's headquarters are at UC Berkeley and co-located with the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Emeryville, CA.