Addresses the unpredictability of synthetic gene circuits

WISB researchers are developing new types of synthetic biomolecular circuitry for use in prokaryotic and eukaryotic hosts. In addition, a number of features of living cells, including stochasticity and circuit-host interactions, introduce variables into the function of biomolecular circuitry that limit their robustness and scalability, thus significantly constraining the potential of SGCs. Advanced computer design tools, combined with novel experimental approaches and state-of-the-art technology, are being used to find solutions to these major challenges. The knowhow developed in this Theme is fed into our other Themes.

Current Theme Members

Dr Fabrizio Alberti

UKRI Future Leader Fellow

Fungal natural product discovery and biosynthesis


Dr Declan Bates

Professor of Bioengineering, School of Engineering

Co-Director | Theme Lead | SynBio CDT

Developing modelling, simulation, and control system design frameworks for synthetic biological systems. Website

Dr Byron Carpenter

UKRI Future Leader Fellow

Molecular mechanisms of signal transduction by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Website

Dr Steven Servin Gonzalez

WISB Post Doctoral Research Assistant, School of Life Sciences

Dr Daniel Hebenstreit

Associate Professor, School of Life Sciences

Mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in metazoan cells, including interplay of epigenetics and transcription, ‘noise’ in gene and protein expression, reorganization of transcriptional networks. Website

Dr Sara Kalvala

Reader, Department of Computer Science

Application of the Programming Language paradigm and Compiler technology in translating functional requirements on synthetic biological systems. Spatio-temporal modelling of microbial communities. Website

Dr Vishwesh Kulkarni

Assistant Professor, School of Engineering

Synthetic gene networks for biotech and medical applications: dynamic programmable circuits, biomass maximization, and treatment of infectious diseases. Website

Dr Ahmad Mannan

WISB Post Doctoral Research Assistant, School of Engineering Website

Dr John McCarthy

Professor of Molecular Systems Biology, School of Life Sciences


Rate control and noise in eukaryotic gene expression. Design strategies and hardware for synthetic biology. Website

Alan Reed

PhD Student, SynBioCDT

Dr Fabio dos Santos Rodrigues

WISB Post Doctoral Research Assistant, School of Life Sciences

Dr Nigel Stocks

Professor of Engineering / Head of School, School of Engineering

Stochastic nonlinear systems and resonance, biomimetic signal processing, sensory neural coding, auditory ribbon synapse signalling. Website

Recent Publications

Dynamic allocation of orthogonal ribosomes facilitates uncoupling of co-expressed genes
A. P. S. Darlington, J. Kim, J. I. Jiménez, D. G. Bates
Nature Communications
February 15, 2018
Modelling and Control of Gene Regulatory Networks for Perturbation Mitigation
M. Foo, J. Kim, D. G. Bates
IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
January 11, 2018
Human Adenosine A2A Receptor: Molecular Mechanism of Ligand Binding and Activation
B. Carpenter, G. Lebon
Frontiers in Pharmacology
December 14, 2017
Engineering of biomolecules by bacteriophage directed evolution
A. Jaramillo, A. K Brödel, M. Isalan
Current Opinion in Biotechnology
November 22, 2017

WISB has been funded by the above bodies