UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology

Our Research

Synthetic biology is being applied to gain insight into human health and disease and to transform medicine and healthcare.

Our Centre is building a capability in the design, construction and testing of synthetic components, integrated into the cellular host, to produce useful outputs in a robust and predictable manner.

We are developing in-house expertise in whole-cell modelling, the generation of tools for cell-engineering, computer-assisted design and the construction of DNA and high-throughput analysis of the resulting phenotype.

This approach will not only advance basic understanding of mammalian biology and pathology but also generate products and services for near-term commercial exploitation.

In parallel, we will develop and implement new understanding of the social and economic impact of this far-reaching technology to ensure its benefits to human and animal welfare.


Research Work Packages

Our Centre's original 5-year work programme first focused on developing a tool kit to engineer cells. We have used these assets to generate fundamental insights into biology and are now working on applying this to address disease.

Responsible Research and Innovation

The engineering of mammalian systems, bringing together research in synthetic biology, epigenetics and stem cells, opens up novel questions for social scientific research and provides a unique opportunity to further the development of the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).


Forth Road Bridge under construction
We are working in collaboration with the National Physics Laboratory to help define and develop workable standards for synthetic biology.


Our research is currently being published in high-impact journals and we share a range of tools and platforms with the wider community.