Synthetic biology can be defined as the artificial (re)design of biological components and/or systems for practical applications. The technology is routed in the field of genetic engineering but draws inspiration from a variety of disciplines, such as biotechnology, chemistry, and even computer sciences. In that light, three research groups of Ghent University have decided to join forces and establish the multidisciplinary Centre for Synthetic Biology (CSB). Their common goal is to develop new processes for the production of value-added compounds, with emphasis on tailor-made carbohydrates, flavonoids and glycolipids.
The group of Prof. Desmet specializes in the semi-rational design of new enzymes. They create improved biocatalysts to enable more efficient pathways or to gain access to alternative products. These enzymes can also be used in vitro to replace traditional chemical synthesis. More...
The group of Prof. De Mey specializes in the manipulation of cellular pathways. They develop novel tools for genetic engineering and apply these to microbial hosts. In that way, so-called designer bugs are created for the conversion of renewable resources into useful products. More...
Membrane transport engineering
crossing the barrier
The group of Prof. Van Bogaert specializes in facilitating transport across cellular membranes. Understanding and exploiting the mechanisms by which molecules are transported in and out of cells is essential for the intensification of new processes in the field of synthetic biology. More...
Dr. Koen Beerens
Dr. Brecht De Paepe
Dr. Lien De Wannemaeker
Dr. Shari Dhaene
Dr. Jorick Franceus
Dr. Chiara Guidi
Dr. Jungho Lee
Dr. Aabid Shah
Dr. Christina Stadlbauer
Carlos Alvarez Quispe
Tibo De Coninck
Maria da Fonseca
Jasmine De Baets
Emma De Beul
Marc De Doncker
High-Throughput Screening for Synthetic Biology: from gene to product
At the Centre for Synthetic Biology, state-of-the-art infrastructure is available for the processing of (engineered) microbes and enzymes, and the identification of (new) products in a high-throughput fashion. Examples of dedicated equipment include a custom-made robotic platform (for DNA manipulations, pipetting, colony picking, screening, incubation, etc.) that was obtained through Hercules-financing, and a coupled HPLC-system (4 channels with automated injection) that is internally financed through service analyses for industry. Together with a range of complementary tools (multiwell readers, microfluidic devices, etc.), this infrastructure is organized in one of UGent's new Core Facilities, named "HTS for SynBio", and made available to other researchers.
For further information requests or reservations, you contact us by email.
Microbial fermentation - up to 30L with complete process control and data acquisition
Enzyme production - cloning and recombinant expression in E. coli or Pichia pastoris
Biosurfactant production - various (modified) glycolipids with Starmorella bombicola
Carbohydrate production - custom synthesis of special sugars and derivatives at gram scale
Carbohydrate analysis - with chromatographic (HPAEC-PAD) and/or spectroscopic techniques
Biocatalytic application - implementation of (commercial) enzymes in chemical synthesis
High-throughput molecular cloning & screening - flexible, automated and high-throughput cloning and library screening platform for, e.g., enzyme or strain mutants and synthetic biology tools