SynbiTECH Live, 6th July 2020

SARS-CoV-2 and Synthetic Biology: Opportunities for Detection and Treatment

SynbiTECH 2020 Webinar - SynbiTECH Live - 6 July 2020

Thanks to everyone who joined us online for the first SynbiTECH Live webinar on Monday 6th July, especially our fantastic panel of speakers who shared their experiences and insights on the ongoing pandemic and the role of synbio. 

Don't worry if you missed it, the webinar is now available to view in full below.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on international public health and the world economy. Our first SynbiTECH Live webinar addresses the role of synthetic biology in the detection and treatment of COVID-19 and its potential role in combatting future pandemics.

We review the ongoing pandemic from both UK and US standpoints, with insights from  leading global experts in epidemiology, infectious diseases and vaccine technology. This is followed by an overview of the role of synthetic biology in the pandemic, how it has been effectively applied to testing for the virus, and its potential for the future.

We were joined by medical scientists and clinicians directly involved in the epidemic who will share their experiences and learnings from the last few months.

Webinar Programme

Introduction and webinar overview

15.00 – 15.05

Professors Paul Freemont and Richard Kitney, Co-Directors of SynbiCITE

Coronavirus global pandemic

15.05 – 15.20

Neil Ferguson, Vice-Dean, Imperial College London

Coronavirus in the US

15.20 – 15.35

Rick Johnson, CEO and Founder of Global Helix LLC

Research overview

15.35 – 15.50

Professor Wendy Barclay, Action Medical Research Chair, Imperial College London

Overview of synthetic biology and its role

15.50 – 16.10

Richard Kitney

  • DNA reading and writing
  • The design, build, test and learn paradigm (DBTL)
  • Systematic biodesign and the development of workflows
  • The development of laboratory automation and biofoundries

The use of biofoundries and synthetic biology for testing

16.10 – 16.30 

Paul Freemont and Michael Crone

  • The role of biofoundries in national and international emergencies
  • The advantage of synthetic biology-based automated workflows
  • Repurposing automated workflows in the London Biofoundry for COVID-19 testing
    • Reagent agnostic drop-in solutions to existing diagnostic workflows
    • Novel NextGen CRISPR / LAMP workflows for COVID testing

SARS-CoV-2 vaccine

16.30 – 16.45 

Robin Shattock, Chair in Mucosal Infection and Immunity, Imperial College London

Discussion and conclusions

16.45 – 17.00

Paul Freemont and Richard Kitney