Our history and organisation
The UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology was funded in 2014 by the BBSRC, EPSRC and MRC and the UK Research Council's Synthetic Biology for Growth Programme.
Our research in mammalian synthetic biology builds on more than a decade of multidisciplinary research in synthetic and systems biology at Edinburgh (SynthSys). It also embraces our world-leading expertise in cell biology, epigenetics, stem cell biology, and in human and veterinary medicine.
Our vision is to pioneer the development of the tools and technologies needed to realise the full potential of engineered biology for human and animal health and wellbeing.
We have expertise in tools for cell engineering, whole-cell modelling, DNA assembly and high-throughput screening to enable synthetic biology in mammalian systems.
We are advancing basic understanding of mammalian cell biology while generating tools and technologies for near-term commercial exploitation. This work is underpinned by the exploration of responsible research and innovation, the development of standards, and how engagement with the public can inform design.
Our work benefits medicine and healthcare through innovation for the production of biologics, vaccine development, gene and cell therapies, novel diagnostics and sensors, stem cell engineering and regenerative medicine.
The Centre's Leadership and Management team contribute to planning and can make swift decisions on issues such as hiring, research, outreach and fund raising. We are also delighted to have a prestigious International Science Advisory Board who meet every 18 months to discuss the Centre's progress against objectives.
Centre Management and Operations Team
Professor Susan Rosser – Director
Professor Alistair Elfick – Deputy Director
Dr Lorraine Kerr – Commercial Relations Manager
Dr Emma Elliot – Business Development Manager
Ms Julie Fyffe – Centre Administrator
Previous team member
Dr Liz Fletcher – Centre Manager (2014- 2021)
Executive Management Team
As above plus
Professor Andrew Millar – data management and open access
Professor Steve Pollard – links to medicine
Dr Jane Calvert – Responsible Research and Innovation
International Science Advisory Board
Professor Martin Fussenegger – ETH Zurich
Professor Ron Weiss – MIT, Boston
Professor Steve Michnick – University of Montreal
Professor Roman Jerala – National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana
Professor Jim Haselhof – Open Plant/University of Cambridge
Dr Axel Trefzer – Thermo Fisher
Professor Michele Garfinkel – EMBO
Dr Mary McElroy – Charles River Labs
Dr Jamie Parkin – BBSRC
Dr Karen Davies– EPSRC
Dr Tim Cullingford – MRC
The Centre is delighted to collaborate with both academic and industrial researchers right across the globe.
We are active participants in UK and Scottish hubs for innovation and translation of engineered biology and collaborate with the other UK Synthetic Biology research centres.
Our Commerical Partners:
- Charles River
- Thermo Scientific
- Roslin Cells
- Twist Bioscience
- FujiFilm Diosynth
- UCB Pharma
Our International Collaborators:
- National University of Singapore
- Intelligent Synthetic Biology Centre, Korea
- University of Tianjin, China
Our Partner Centres:
Our Centre is one of six UK centres for multidisciplinary synthetic biology research centres, each with a unique focus of research and translation activity. Further information about these Centres can be found below.
SYNBIOCHEM - Manchester - Fine and Speciality Chemicals
BrisSynBio - Bristol - Biomolecular Design and Engineering
WISB - Warwick - Plant and Microbial Systems
Open Plant - Cambridge/John Innes - Tools for A Sustainable Future
SBRC Nottingham - Nottingham - C1-based Chemicals and Fuels