Seminar - Engineering Synthetic Genetic Circuits for Control of Microbial Metabolism and Biomaterial Formation

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
presents a seminar by:
Felix Moser
Senior Scientist, AbCellera, Vancouver
Seminar - Engineering Synthetic Genetic Circuits for Control of Microbial Metabolism and Biomaterial Formation


Sponsored by UBC Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Abstract: Industrial microbial bioprocesses are key to sustainable production of everything from fuels to food. While much progress has been made in recent decades in the genetic manipulation and control of microbial metabolism and growth, challenges remain. Increasingly complex metabolic pathways often require conditional and dynamic control of gene expression to maximize product formation and minimize metabolic burden. To engineer such intricate control, synthetic biologists have developed synthetic genetic circuits (SGC's). When effectively deployed, SGC's can mitigate wasteful stresses and maximize product yield during industrial bioprocesses. In my talk, I will detail the design of SGC's and walk through how an SGC was engineered to mitigate the accumulation of an undesirable metabolic byproduct (acetate) during batch fermentation of Escherichia coli. Additionally, SGC's offer unique inroads towards control of complex multicellular communities and living materials such as biofilms. I will show how an SGC containing optogenetic sensors enabled control of the formation and composition of complex E. coli biofilms. These biofilms, once formed on various substrates, continued to adapt to changes in environmental conditions in a programmable manner. To conclude, I will offer a prospective vision for how SGC's and other synthetic biology tools will impact sustainable production of novel microbially-derived products and biomaterials. 

This is a hybrid seminar which you can attend in person in LSC3 (Life Sciences Institute, UBC Vancouver Campus) or on Zoom. If you are joining on zoom, please use the meeting ID and passcode below: 

Meeting ID: 91037 579420 

Passcode: 579420

Tuesday, February 21, 2023 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Life Sciences Centre, LSC 3
2350 Health Sciences Mall
Hosted by