Section for Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology is based on the mindset of seeing biology and biotechnology in particular as an engineering discipline like any other, such as seen in electronics or mechanics.

The discipline is based on combining biological components – both those found in nature and new synthetic components – to achieve new functions, qualities and products. It allows us to tap into the diversity of nature and biological solutions based on millions of years of evolution and combine them to design biological solutions for current and future challenges. Properly applied and developed, synthetic biology has the potential to be a transforming technology for our society, with built in sustainability.

The Section of Synthetic Biology hosts the primary synthetic biology and cell factory engineering activities of the department. The section is host to synthetic biology research activities in cells from three kingdoms of life – fungi, plants, and animals – and will expand into a fourth with the oncoming recruitment of an associate professor in prokaryotic cell factories. The research spans method development for gene and genome editing, bioreactor cultivations for quantitative physiology, synthetic biology, regulation engineering, protein production, expression, and discovery of bioactive compounds. 

We study a variety of conventional and non-conventional cell factories, in particular yeast, filamentous fungi, plant cells, and mammalian cells as well as organisms usable for genome mining for potential products.

DTU Fermentation core
The section hosts the DTU fermentation core, containing 63 bioreactors in the 0.1-20 L scale as well as equipment for controlled milliliter scale cultivations which will be expanded by completely new automatic micro-fermentation setups for high throughput screening of production strains. Furthermore, the section has extensive equipment for genetic engineering and strain construction, including minor capacity in robotics, liquid handling and colony picking.

Head of section

Mikael Rørdam Andersen
Professor MSO
DTU Bioengineering
+45 45 25 26 75