SSB-31312 A Toolbox in Synthetic Biology


Credits 12.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)dr. C Fleck
Lecturer(s)dr. C Fleck
dr. PJ Schaap
prof. dr. SC de Vries
prof. dr. D Weijers
Examiner(s)dr. C Fleck

Language of instruction:

Dutch and/or English

Assumed knowledge on:

SSB-50806 Introduction to Systems and Synthetic Biology.

Continuation courses:

MSc Thesis.


The availability of a wealth of genome information in the form of DNA sequences from a great variety of organisms gives new and challenging possibilities to gain insight in genome structure and genome evolution. Also, it provides novel possibilities for chassis (host cell) modification, design of novel or modified networks (pathways) with the aim to get a better understanding of biological principles or for the production of novel proteins or metabolites.
This course is aimed to deal with a selection of the following topics:
1. the design and construction of new parts and devices the e.g. serve as protein generators, reporters or biosensors to be used in a defined chassis;
2. the design and construction of new or modified pathways to study signalling or regulation or for the production of proteins or metabolites;
3. the design of novel scaffolds or synthetic organelles to study metabolic fluxes or to contain metabolic reactions at specific compartments;
4. modification of the chassis by genome streamlining or by evolution experiments.
The methods used vary with the specific topic, but generally multidisciplinary approaches will be applied and in addition to standard biochemical, molecular biology, microbiological methods and bioinformatics also methods like mathematical network analysis, metabolic modelling, quantitative PCR, microscopy, fluorescence assays and others may be used.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the concepts of Synthetic Biology;
- integrate data of different methods;
- develop a research plan in which research question, hypothesis, experimental set-up and data analysis are described in relation to relevant literature;
- execute experiments of a research plan in which research questions, hypothesis, experimental set-up and data analysis are described in relation to relevant literature;
- co-operate in a multi-disciplinary team to study a Synthetic Biology case and integrate the different approaches;
- communicate verbally and in writing about the results of learning, experiments and project work with colleagues and non-colleagues;
- reflect upon personal knowledge, skills, attitudes and functioning, both individually and in discussions with others (including the interested party and experts) and design and plan their own learning path.


Perform experiments according to available manuals and protocols as a member of a team.


The final mark will be based on the laboratory skills (40%);
shown during the project, on the quality of the oral presentation (20%);
written report (40%) of the results of the project.


Will be provided during the course.

Restricted Optional for: MBTBiotechnologyMScC: Medical Biotechnology6WD