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BIT 495/595: Synthetic Biology


The course will introduce students to the emerging field of synthetic biology, illustrating
the design principles, current technologies, practical applications, and future potential of this exciting area of science at the intersect of molecular biology and engineering. Through hands-on interdisciplinary laboratories, students will learn broadly useful state-of-the-art molecular cloning technologies and simple software to facilitate the design, generation, testing, and modeling of simple synthetic circuits and biosensors.


  • Introduction to Synthetic Biology
  • DNA synthesis, assembly, and cloning
  • Synthetic Biological Circuits
  • Biosensors
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Synthetic cells
  • Cell-free systems


  • Modeling synthetic circuits in MATLAB: Toggle switches and oscillators
  • Design, construction, and testing of a bacterial toggle switch and plant hormone sensor: genetic element libraries, rapid multi-part assemblies

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