The field of synthetic biology remains an emerging discipline that is beginning to impact diverse fields of basic and applied science. In brief, synthetic biology seeks to (i) design and construct biological components and systems that do not exist in nature and (ii) re-design and build existing biological systems. Such approaches to engineering biological systems use unnatural molecules to expand the chemistry and function of life as well as re-assemble natural components into artificial systems with programmable behaviors. Inspired by these goals, the field has driven dramatic innovations in genomic and biomolecular technologies and the enablement of sophisticated programming of microbial and eukaryotic species and communities. This meeting will provide reports of unpublished data on the latest enabling technologies, advances in environmental and mammalian applications, the engineering of undomesticated species and communities, sophisticated re-design of multi-scale systems at the gene, network and whole-genome level, and the growth of synthetic biology in industry.
Reflective of the interdisciplinary field of synthetic biology, this meeting will resemble an "artists' colony" bringing together scientists from biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and engineering to interact in a stimulating and relaxed environment. In this informal atmosphere, scientists at all stages – graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and established investigators – will have the opportunity to engage in spirited conversation over meals, during session discussions, throughout afternoon activities and into the evening after each session.
For the first time the conference will incorporate a Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) with the goal of facilitating participation by scientists at the graduate student and postdoctoral levels. The GRS is planned by and for trainees to provide an interactive and supportive environment for junior researchers to present seminars and posters. Participation at the GRS will also provide opportunities for select junior scientists to present at the associated GRC.